The man whose case President Barack Obama ordered top officials to review Thursday is a Qatari national and father of five with roots in Illinois, and is the only enemy combatant being held on American soil.
A U.S. resident and a Bradley University graduate, Ali al-Marri lived in Peoria from 1983 to 1991 and, briefly, in Downstate Macomb in 2000. He was in Peoria in late 2001 to pursue a master's degree at Bradley when the FBI arrested him on suspicion that he was part of an al-Qaida sleeper cell.President George W. Bush later declared Marri an enemy combatant, allowing him to be held indefinitely without charges. He has been in solitary confinement in a U.S. Navy brig near Charleston, S.C., since 2003.
On Thursday, Obama signed an executive order asking the attorney general, secretary of defense and other top officials to conduct a "prompt and thorough review of the factual and legal basis for Marri's continued detention, and identify and thoroughly evaluate alternative dispositions."
Also Thursday, Acting Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler asked the Supreme Court for a 30-day delay in filing the government's brief in the Marri case, which is scheduled to be heard by the court in March.
Jonathan Hafetz, Marri's lawyer, said he is pleased with Obama's decision but does not want the review to push the case past the summer, when the Supreme Court ends its session.
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