Washington Releases US Citizen Linked to IS to Live in Manama, AP
2018-11-02 - 2:00 p
Bahrain Mirror: The U.S. has released a dual American-Saudi citizen who was suspected of working with the Islamic State and detained by the U.S. military for more than a year without charge, the American Civil Liberties Union said Monday.
The ACLU said the identity of the man and the country where he was released are protected by a court order to ensure the safety of him and his family. The Associated Press reported the New York Times, citing unnamed U.S. officials, said the man was released in Bahrain. The man, who is married and has a young daughter, once lived and studied in Louisiana.
Between 2006 and 2014 the detainee got married and lived in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, working in various family businesses, including a women's tailoring shop and a construction company. While his wife was pregnant, he traveled on business to Indonesia, Singapore, China and Malaysia. While in Asia, the government said, the detainee tweeted pro-IS messages.
His release followed months of legal wrangling between government lawyers and the ACLU. It has been a test case for how the government should treat U.S. citizens picked up on the battlefield and accused of fighting with IS militants.
In defense of the detention, U.S. authorities said that when the man surrendered in mid-September to U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, he was carrying thumb drives containing thousands of files. There were 10,000 or more photos - some depicting pages of military-style manuals. There were files on how to make specific types of improvised explosive devices and bombs.
The detainee said he had press credentials to do freelance writing about the conflict in Syria, although the FBI hasn't found any published articles or blogs he authored.
In early 2015, the detainee flew to Athens, Greece, and then to Gaziantep, Turkey, where he paid a smuggler $300 to get him into Syria. He arrived there with $40,000 in his pocket.
The detainee said that three days after he entered Syria he was kidnapped by IS militants and imprisoned for seven months. He said he was released only after agreeing to work for IS. He spent two months at an IS training camp near Mayadin, Syria, before being assigned to a brigade responsible for guarding the front lines in Deir el-Zour province.
When he was captured at a checkpoint, he told the American-backed SDF forces that he was "daesh" - another name for IS - and said "he wanted to turn himself in and speak to the Americans." When he surrendered, he was carrying the thumb drives, $4,210, a global positioning device, hats, clothes, a Quran and a scuba snorkel and mask.
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