Ali al-Marri Indicted for Providing Material Support to Al-Qaeda
By: Jim Kouri, CPP
A federal grand jury in the Central District of Illinois returned a two-count indictment charging Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, 43, with providing material support to al Qaeda and conspiring with others to provide material support to al Qaeda, Attorney General Eric Holder announced last Thursday.
The indictment was returned on Wednesday but unsealed the following day. If convicted, al-Marri, a dual national of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, faces a maximum penalty of 15 yearsâ€™ imprisonment for each count of the indictment.
â€œThis indictment shows our resolve to protect the American people and prosecute alleged terrorists to the full extent of the law,â€ said Attorney General Holder. â€œIn this administration, we will hold accountable anyone who attempts to do harm to Americans, and we will do so in a manner consistent with our values.â€
â€œThe indictment alleges that Ali al-Marri provided material support to al Qaeda, which has committed horrific terrorist acts against our nation,â€ said U.S. Attorney Rodger A. Heaton. â€œAs a result, he will now face the U.S. criminal justice system, where his guilt or innocence will be determined by a jury in open court.â€
Al-Marri entered the United States on September 10, 2001, purportedly to pursue a second bachelorâ€™s degree at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. After having been detained in the Central District of Illinois, al-Marri was transferred to the Southern District of New York as a material witness in the investigation of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
On January 22, 2009, the President ordered the Attorney General to lead an interagency review of al-Marriâ€™s case. Specifically, the President instructed the Attorney General, the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, as well as the Director of National Intelligence to conduct a review of the factual and legal basis for al-Marriâ€™s continued detention, and to identify and thoroughly evaluate alternative dispositions for al-Marri.
After the indictment against al-Marri was returned, the President directed the Secretary of Defense to transfer, upon the request of the Attorney General, al-Marri from the custody of the Defense Department at the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina, to the custody of the Justice Department for purposes of criminal prosecution.
The Presidentâ€™s memorandum supersedes a June 23, 2003 Presidential directive that ordered al-Marri detained as an enemy combatant by the Defense Department. The transfer will be accomplished once the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a motion that the Acting Solicitor General filed later that today.
In conjunction with the indictment, the Justice Departmentâ€™s Office of the Solicitor General will be moving to dismiss al-Marriâ€™s pending litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court.
â€œWe look forward to prosecuting this critically important case and thank the many investigators, analysts and prosecutors who worked tirelessly to make it possible,â€ said Matthew Olsen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security and Executive Director of the Guantanamo Detainee Review Task Force.
â€œThese charges remind us of the importance of vigilant law enforcement across the country working individually and together to protect Americans,â€ said FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III. â€œIt was important seven years ago, and even more important today.â€
Al-Marri was charged with credit card fraud, false statements and identity fraud in the Southern District of New York. After al-Marri withdrew his waiver of venue, the court dismissed the charges and the government brought its case in the Central District of Illinois. On May 22, 2003, after being returned to the Central District of Illinois, al-Marri was indicted by a grand jury in that district. The May 2003 indictment alleged the same offenses that had been alleged previously in the Southern District of New York.
On June 23, 2003, al-Marri was designated by President Bush as an enemy combatant and transported from the Central District of Illinois to the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, where he has been detained since. The criminal charges against al-Marri were dismissed with prejudice on the government’s motion on June 23, 2003, prior to his transfer to South Carolina.
The al-Marri investigation was conducted by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Springfield, Illinois. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Joanna Baltes and John Gibbs of the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Departmentâ€™s National Security Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney David E. Risley of the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office for the Central District of Illinois.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he’s the blog editor for the House Conservatives Fund’s weblog. Recently, the editors Examiner.com appointed him as their Law Enforcement Examiner. Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for NewswithViews.com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 300 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.