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Saturday, June 15, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Alleged Terrorist Fighter|Loses Bid for Release

(CN) - A Guantanamo Bay detainee failed to convince a federal judge in Washington, D.C., that he was being illegally detained for allegedly joining the ranks of terrorist groups and fighting U.S. forces.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said the government "met its burden" of showing that Fayiz Mohammed Ahmed Al Kandari "became part of al Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated enemy forces."

"According to his own statements and admissions against interest, Al Kandari was in the mountains near Tora Bora, during the height of the Battle of Tora Bora, armed with a Kalishnikov rifle, and in the company of several members and high-level leaders of al Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated enemy forces, who were actively engaged in fighting the United States and its Coalition allies," Kollar-Kotelly wrote.

Based on this admission, the government claimed it had the authority to detain him.

Al Kandari argued that some of the evidence against him was unreliable, and that he was in Afghanistan to perform charity work. He claimed he was trying to escape the fighting when he was captured in Tora Bora.

But Judge Kollar-Kotelly called his version of events "implausible" and said it was "more likely than not that Al Kandari was part of al Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated enemy forces."

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