The United States deported to a secret destination a stateless person who had served a term of terrorism and which the Government intended to hold indefinitely.
This is Adham A. Hassoun, 58, a son of Palestinian refugees born in Beirut who was living in Florida at the time of his arrest in 2002 (a few months after the attacks of September 11, 2001).
Hassoun was convicted years later, in 2007, accused of providing support for terrorism in places like Bosnia, Chechnya or Kosovo during the 1990s.
During the trial, he was considered an accomplice of Jose Padilla, a US citizen converted to Islam, whom the George W. Bush government (2001-2009) designated and treated as an “enemy combatant” in a high-profile media case.
Hassoun finished serving his sentence in 2017, but the Donald Trump government resisted releasing him and, being a stateless person, was unable to deport him to his country of origin, so he was transferred to an immigration detention centre.
In fact, the Government tried to invoke an unusual law that would allow it to indefinitely detain people with completed sentences as they are considered a threat to national security.
However, a federal judge ordered his release at the end of last month, considering that the government had not proven that Hassoun was a threat.
Although the government planned to wage a legal battle to prevent his release, he also undertook procedures to find a country willing to admit him. Finally, Hassoun was deported on Tuesday to an unknown destination.
“Mr. Hassoun is delighted to finally be free after 17 months of illegal detention and hopes to resume his life,” one of his attorneys, Jonathan Hafetz of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) told The New York Times).