More than 600 Islamic State fighters from a variety of countries are being held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria, but no one thinks this situation can last. Frantic diplomatic negotiations have borne little fruit so far, and it appears a two-pronged stopgap solution may be in the works. Buckle up.
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The Doe v. Mattis saga has taken a significant turn, as the U.S. government continues to attempt to rid itself of the dual U.S.-Saudi citizen it has held in military custody in Iraq since last September (following his capture in Syria by the Syrian Democratic Forces): In a filing late this afternoon in the D.C.
On Monday, Khalid Ahmed Qassim filed a motion for en banc review of Judge Thomas Hogan’s May 10 denial of a petition for habeas relief.
There’s plenty to chew on in the 79 pages of opinions from the D.C. Circuit in Doe v. Mattis—in which a divided panel affirmed a district court injunction blocking the transfer of a U.S. citizen captured in Syria and held in Iraq as an “enemy combatant” to “Country A” (which is likely Iraq) or “Country B” (which is definitely Saudi Arabia).
On Tuesday, Judge Thomas Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied Khalid Ahmed Qassim’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Russell Spivak summarized the joint status report, motion in limine, and a prehearing brief filed in the case for Lawfare in March. Read Hogan’s one-page judgment below:
Revisiting the Prosecution Option in Doe v. Mattis: Is the Real Aim Here to Secure a Citizenship Waiver?
Prosecuting John Doe seemed unviable at first. Things may be different now.
What to make of the court's split decision.
When the D.C. Circuit hears oral argument in Doe v.
On April 19, Judge Tanya Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an opinion in Doe v. Mattis on the government's proposed transfer of John Doe. The court unsealed the opinion on Monday:
Enjoining the Transfer of a US-Saudi Citizen to Saudi Arabia: A Doe v. Mattis Update and Initial Preview
Since this article's publishing, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has released Judge Chutkan's ruling. Read it on Lawfare.
Can the U.S. government transfer a dual U.S.-Saudi citizen, without his consent, from U.S. military custody in Iraq to Saudi custody in Saudi Arabia? This issue has been percolating for a while in federal court, but the case is now heading rapidly towards an answer.