MAY 31, 2007
An imprisoned Middle Eastern man convicted in Jordan of plotting to bomb an American school and later ordered deported from the U.S. will instead be freed because immigration officials could not find a country that would take him.
Majed Talat Hajbeh has been in prison since being arrested in an immigration sweep about four years ago. A U.S. judge ordered him deported for lying on immigration documents when he entered the United States but the deportation order was suspended after Hajbeh’s attorneys said he would be tortured if returned to his native Jordan.
Immigration officials claim the deportation has not come to fruition because no other country, including various in the Middle East, would accept the suspected terrorist. The Department of Homeland Security has kept Hajbeh in jail because he is considered a danger to the community.
This week a Clinton-appointed federal judge in Virginia ordered that Hajbeh be freed because the U.S. government has violated his constitutional rights. U.S. District Court Judge Jerome Friedman said the government has taken too long to find a country that will take the man and that the court finds it difficult to conceive how his continued confinement remains reasonable.
So the terror suspect, convicted in his own country, will live freely with his wife and seven children in the suburban northern Virginia city of Woodbridge.
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