West ties Russia to Islamic terrorists in show trial

A former Russian soldier who switched sides during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, stayed behind and later fought American troops will be flown to the United States to face terrorism charges, a federal official said Thursday.  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/world/asia/jihadist-captive-faces-terror-charges-in-us.html?ref=world
The transfer resolves a matter that has bedeviled the American government for years as officials debated what to do with their unusual prisoner.
The soldier-turned-jihadist, known as Irek Hamidullan, has been held by the United States military at the Bagram Prison in Afghanistan since his capture in 2009. With America’s war there drawing to a close, the Obama administration feared its authority to hold him was also running out.
American officials have said Mr. Hamidullan, whose Russian name has not been disclosed, is not believed to be a major terrorist. Rather, they say he is one of several former Soviet soldiers who defected, converted to Islam and took up arms with the mujahedeen fighters during Russia’s decade-long war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The officials who spoke on Mr. Hamidullan’s case did so on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.
Obama administration officials have debated for years about what to do with Mr. Hamidullan. Some advocated a military tribunal inside the United States. F.B.I. agents and national security prosecutors argued for a criminal trial. But political fighting in Washington over whether terrorists should be prosecuted in federal court delayed any decision.
But time was running out. As the war ends, so does the authority to hold prisoners at Bagram. When American forces left Iraq, they turned over their last prisoner, a senior Hezbollah operative, to Iraqi authorities, who promptly released him. American officials feared the same would happen with Mr. Hamidullan.
The decision to prosecute him in criminal court was made easier by a string of Justice Department terrorism convictions in recent years. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. recently declared the matter settled, saying criminal courts had proved themselves capable of safely and swiftly bringing terrorists to justice.
Mr. Hamidullan is expected to be charged in a Virginia federal court, but the exact charges he will face and the timing of his transfer were not clear. The Washington Post first reported the decision to bring him to the United States.

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