American ISIS Suspect Is Freed After Being Held More Than a Year

Commentary by CNS Fellow Jonathan Hafetz

“It has always been very important to him that he remain a U.S. citizen,” said Jonathan Hafetz, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union who is representing Mr. Alsheikh. He did not confirm or challenge his client’s identity or that he has been released. “He has been fighting to regain his freedom, and he looks forward to putting this ordeal behind him,” Mr. Hafetz said.

Mr. Hafetz said that the government’s assertions about his client “were riddled with inaccuracies, and had the government been forced to put their case on trial consistent with the Constitution, it would have painted a very different picture.”

“The most chilling proposition of this case is that the government thought it could dispose of the liberty of an American citizen without any involvement of lawyers or courts,” Mr. Hafetz said. “A resounding message is that the government is going to think long and hard before it tries to detain an American citizen without charges again — and it should.”

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Karen Greenberg