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Judicial Watch • Appeals Court Blasts Judge Who Ordered Terrorist Freed

Appeals Court Blasts Judge Who Ordered Terrorist Freed

Appeals Court Blasts Judge Who Ordered Terrorist Freed

Judicial Watch


The Clinton-appointed federal judge who ordered the release of an Al Qaeda terrorist with close ties to Osama bin Laden got slammed this week by the appeals court that overturned her ruling, characterized as “manifestly incorrect” and “startling” in the appellate decision.

Last fall Judge Gladys Kessler ordered the U.S. government to free Mohammed Al-Adahi, a Yemeni who trained with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, from the Guantanamo Bay military camp where dozens of Islamic radicals are still imprisoned. Al-Adahi met bin Laden years ago through his sister, who is married to one of bin Laden’s bodyguards, and he trained at the renowned Al Faroug camp in Kandahar where many of the September 11 hijackers trained.

In her August 2009 ruling Judge Kessler acknowledged that the government’s evidence against Al-Adahi appeared “compelling and sensational,” but did not constitute actual, reliable evidence that would justify his detention. Kessler ordered Al-Adahi released and the government quickly appealed to the D.C Circuit.

In its unanimous ruling a three-judge panel says that Kessler reached her decision “through a series of legal errors” and that she “clearly erred” in her treatment of the evidence and in her view of the law. “In all, there can be no doubt that Al-Adahi was more likely than not part of Al-Qaida,” the court wrote.

Al-Adahi got shipped to Guantanamo Bay after Pakistani troops captured him trying to flee Afghanistan on a bus loaded with wounded Taliban soldiers. In 2004 a Combatant Status Review Tribunal at the U.S. naval base determined that there was sufficient evidence to prove he was part of Al Qaeda.


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