Terrorism suspect brought into U.S.
PHILADELPHIA — President Donald Trump’s administration has brought an al-Qaida suspect to the United States to face trial in federal court, backing off its position that terrorism suspects should be sent to the naval prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, rather than to civilian courtrooms.
The suspect, Ali Charaf Damache, 52, was transferred from Spain and appeared Friday in federal court in Philadelphia, making him the first foreigner brought to the United States to face terrorism charges under Trump. Authorities believe that Damache was an al-Qaida recruiter. He was charged with helping plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist who depicted the Prophet Muhammad in cartoons.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has repeatedly said that terrorism suspects should be held and prosecuted at Guantanamo Bay.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to questions about whether Sessions had changed his views on civilian trials or why Damache was being brought to federal court.