Obama Administration Releases Convicted Al Qaeda Operative From Civilian Prison

Guy Benson
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Posted: Jan 21, 2015 12:46 PM
Obama Administration Releases Convicted Al Qaeda Operative From Civilian Prison

Via terrorism expert and former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy, a development that demonstrates the Obama administration's willingness not just to negotiate with terrorists, and not just to flat-out release dangerous jihadists as a means of achieving the political goal of emptying Gitmo, but also to free terrorists who've been convicted and imprisoned under the White House's preferred law enforcement paradigm:

The Long War Journal reports that the Obama administration has released Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri from a U.S. prison – not from Gitmo, from a civilian jail after a federal terrorism conviction. Al-Marri is an al Qaeda operative who was planted as a “sleeper” in the United States by Khalid Sheikh Mohamed to await instructions on carrying out a second wave of attacks after the 9/11 atrocities – against water reservoirs, the New York Stock Exchange, U.S. military academies, and other targets. The Justice Department quietly sprung him on Friday so he could return to his native Qatar – a country the administration regards as a crucial counterterrorism ally … and a country that is notorious for providing material support to jihadists. While appalling, this news was inevitable. The al-Marri case was a cause celebre for the Bush-deranged Left because he was detained as an enemy combatant, rather than arrested and charged in court as a criminal defendant, despite being apprehended in the United States. Upon taking office, Obama ordered him transferred from military detention under the law-of-war to the civilian criminal justice system. Once there, he was given a bargain-basement plea deal by Attorney General Eric Holder and his minions.

McCarthy recounts the background of this case in detail here, including a deserved 'told you so' reminder of his own accurate 2009 prediction that al-Marri would be released at the earliest legal opportunity -- in 2015. Bullseye.  Some important context, "in stark departure from prior Justice Department practice, Holder permitted al-Marri to plead guilty to providing material support for terrorism. The material-support offense is generally reserved for non-terrorist sympathizers who facilitate the jihad but are unlikely to carry out atrocities themselves. It is a significantly less serious charge than the crimes — the acts of war — that Marri had actually committed, such as full-fledged membership in the al-Qaeda conspiracy to kill Americans, as well as conspiracies to use weapons of mass destruction. Because of Holder’s abandonment of past DOJ practice, al-Marri was looking at a maximum sentence of 15 years. Had the Justice Department filed appropriate charges and taken the case to trial, the 43-year-old al-Marri would have been looking at a life sentence."  Instead, he's been cut loose in Qatar, the same country that has taken in the so-called Taliban Five, all high-ranking jihadists, who were freed as part of a deal to secure the release of alleged US Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl.  After 9/11, this man committed to kill as many Americans as possible as a card-carrying Al Qaeda operative.  It seems extraordinarily likely that he'll return to the fight now that he's shaken US custody.  As a point of reference, the US has documented a recidivism rate of roughly 30 percent among former Guantanamo Bay detainees, a heinous roster that includes Benghazi attackersISIS captains, and Taliban honchos. Speaking of ISIS, here's what they've been up to lately:

Thirteen teenage Iraqi boys were gunned down by the Islamic State for cheering on their national soccer team in last week’s Asian Cup competition, an activist group says. The group of teens reportedly were watching the match between Iraq and Jordan on a television in Mosul, a city controlled by ISIS. The boys were killed because they were said to be violating Sharia law by watching the game and their “crime” was announced over a loudspeaker before they were hit with machine gun fire, reports said. “The bodies remained lying in the open and their parents were unable to withdraw them for fear of murder by the terrorist organization,” the activist group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently posted on its website, according to the New York Post.

Other reports suggest that ISIS has executed dozens of their own fighters for the crime of losing a battle.  Meanwhile, the group has kidnapped two Japanese citizens, demanding $200 million from the government in Tokyo as the price to spare their lives.  The Wall Street Journal reported last week that US-led bombing campaigns against the terrorist army have done little to stall its expansion inside Syria.  In more positive news, ISIS members were reportedly killed by Canadian troops in a failed raid in Iraq, the first confirmed instance of Western forces directly engaging the Islamic State in a ground battle. Unconfirmed reports also suggest that ISIS' leader may have been wounded in an Iraqi airstrike.  I'll leave you with two Iran-related stories, and a separate video.  (1) This Iran-related death in Argentina stinks to high heaven, and is extremely suspicious.  (2) This pending weapons transfer between Moscow and Tehran further underscores the glittering success of the Obama/Clinton "reset" policy. And while we're on the subject of Hillary's tenure as Secretary of State:


Boko Haram's latest act of barbarity shocked the world last week.  Incidentally, you may notice a common thread that binds together the carnage detailed in this post.  The Obama administration insists that you ought to avert your eyes.