RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Russian member of the Taliban has made his first appearance in a federal court in Virginia, marking the first time a military detainee from Afghanistan has been brought to the U.S. for trial.
Tuesday's appearance represents the Obama administration's latest attempt to show that it can use the criminal court system to deal with terror suspects. His arraignment on 12 charges has been set for Friday morning.
U.S. officials say Irek Hamidullan is a Russian veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan who defected to the Taliban. He was captured in 2009 after an attack on Afghan border police and U.S. soldiers. He had been held at the U.S. Parwan detention facility at Bagram airfield ever since. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.