Alex Ely

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Alexander Ely is a student at Columbia Law School, where he is Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law and Vice President of the National Security Law Society. He holds an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, where he was Editor-in-Chief of The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs and spent a summer as a Harold Rosenthal Fellow in International Relations at the Department of Defense. Prior to graduate school, he spent two years working for an international communications consulting firm, and was previously an Editorial Researcher at Foreign Policy Magazine. He graduated with a B.A., cum laude, in Government from the College of William & Mary in 2009.

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Transfers, Releases & Resettlements

PRB Recommends Repatriation for One Saudi Detainee, Continued Detention for Another

Yesterday the Periodic Review Board recommended the repatriation of Muhammad Murdi Issa al-Zahrani, a Saudi detainee who has been held in Guantanamo for 12 years after being captured in Afghanistan in 2002.

The Board's short statement concluded that given the “uncorroborated nature” of Zahrani’s association with Al Qaeda, his lack of ties to at-large extremists, and his apparent good behavior while in detention---along with his expressed desire to pursue a peaceful life after Guantanamo

Terrorism Trials: Civilian Court

Supreme Court Denies Cert in Mehanna and Ali Cases

It's not just the same-sex marriage cases. The Supreme Court today also denied petitions for certiorari in a pair of cases we've been following. The first petition was from Tarek Mehanna, a Massachusetts man who was previously convicted for providing material support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339.

Surveillance: NSA Warrantless Wiretapping

Updated Version of In Re Directives: A Quick Summary

Readers likely recall that last week, documents from the In Re Directives litigation, regarding foreign intelligence surveillance directives issued to Yahoo!, were declassified.

Chief among them: a new version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review’s (“FISCR” or the “Court”) 2008 ruling, one less redacted than previous versions released to the public. Then-Chief Judge Bruce Selya’s opinion still contains some key redactions.