U.S. Tags ISIS Fighter ‘Enemy Combatant,’ Reviving Bush…

Ken Dilanian

WASHINGTON — Almost nothing is publicly known about the American ISIS fighter who is now in the custody of the U.S. military, but one fact has already made the case extraordinary: The Trump Administration has declared him an enemy combatant, according to a military spokesman.

Legal experts say it appears to be the first time that designation has been used since 2009, when the Obama administration stopped using the label for Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a Qatari citizen who had been designated an enemy combatant in 2003. He was held for six years in a military brig before being transferred to the federal court system in 2009, where he was sentenced to 15 years, including time served.

The case presents an early test of whether Trump will seek to follow through on any of his campaign rhetoric about counterterrorism. He promised last year to “load up” the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba “with some really bad dudes.” U.S. citizens can’t be brought to Guantanamo, but the Trump administration has made no secret of its desire to place terror suspects in military detention elsewhere.

Image: Al Qaida Suspect Transferred To DOD

Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, former graduate student at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, appears in a booking photo at Peoria County Sheriff’s Office December 12, 2001 in Illinois.