The Trump administration has freed an American citizen in Bahrain who was imprisoned without trial for more than 13 months as a suspected fighter for the Islamic State terror group. The dual American-Saudi citizen was captured in September 2017 by a Kurdish militia in Syria—he was then turned over to the U.S. military, which held him as a wartime detainee at a base in Iraq, though he was never charged. He was identified by name for the first time Monday, by The New York Times, as Abdulrahman Ahmad Alsheikh. His release in Bahrain has sidestepped the question of whether the government can detain ISIS fighters indefinitely in military prisons without congressional authorization—that conundrum will now not be tested in U.S. courts. Sending Alsheikh to Bahrain was a good outcome over “fairly terrible alternatives,” said Robert Chesney, a University of Texas law professor, adding it was “disturbing” the detention lasted so long. The Daily Beast first reported Alsheikh’s capture, and the problem it set up for the Trump administration on wartime detention authorizations.
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