WASHINGTON – A judge has ordered the release of a Guantanamo Bay detainee described in the 9/11 commission report as a significant al-Qaida operative who provided advice to three of the Sept. 11 hijackers.
The ruling in favor of detainee Mohamedou Ould Salahi was disclosed Monday in a two-line court entry.
U.S. District Judge James Robertson will issue a written decision at a later date explaining his reasons for granting the detainee’s petition. The detainee remains at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the Obama administration could appeal Robertson’s order. Even if the administration were to decide against appealing, Salahi would remain at Guantanamo until U.S. diplomats found a nation willing to accept him.
Terror-assisting conviction upheld
SCRANTON, Pa. – An appeals court has upheld the conviction of a northeastern Pennsylvania man found guilty of trying to help al-Qaida terrorists blow up fuel pipelines and refineries in the U.S.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in an opinion filed Thursday that the issues raised by 51-year-old Michael Curtis Reynolds were “meritless.” He had alleged insufficient evidence, misstated facts and false testimony, malicious prosecution and lack of a speedy trial.
Reynolds was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison in November 2007 after he was convicted of providing material support to terrorists, soliciting a crime of violence and explosives counts.
Reynolds had been arrested after he tried to meet a purported al-Qaida contact near an Idaho motel. He had said he was trying to root out terrorists online.
Ex-doctor kills eight children
BEIJING – A former doctor armed with a large knife killed eight children and injured five others Tuesday at an elementary school in eastern China, a local official said.
The assailant was arrested after the 7:20 a.m. attack, Xinhua News Agency said. He is a former community clinic doctor with a history of mental health problems, said a man surnamed Wu in the Nanping city government office, who would not give his full name as is common among Chinese officials.
The attacker, who is 41 or 42, had resigned from his post at the community clinic, Wu said, but he wasn’t sure when.
Proud shoplifters going to prison
SAN DIEGO – A Southern California couple who bragged on the “Dr. Phil” show about making $100,000 by selling shoplifted toys on eBay was sentenced Monday to federal prison.
U.S. District Court Judge Irma Gonzalez sentenced Matthew Eaton, 34, of San Marcos to 27 months in prison, while his wife, Laura Eaton, 27, was sentenced to a year. Both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport stolen property across state lines.
The couple was under investigation for shoplifting before the “Dr. Phil” appearance, but were not suspected of being large-scale thieves until they appeared on the show.
The show also aired a video of the couple’s three small children accompanying them on a three-day shoplifting binge.