Federal judge ruled on meaning of 'enemy combatant'

On October 27, 2008, Judge Richard Leon of the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that an "enemy combatant" must have directly supported hostilities against the US or its allies. Leon stated that the definition should comport with the President's constitutional war powers and the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force [PDF]. He adopted the definition provided in a 2004 Order Establishing Combatant Status Review Tribunal [PDF] for use in several habeas corpus petitions filed by Guantanamo detainees, which stated that:

an "enemy combatant" shall mean an individual who was part of or supporting Taliban or al Qaeda forces, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners. This includes any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported hostilities in aid of enemy armed forces.

Learn more about Guantanamo Bay detainess from the JURIST news archive, and read an overview of Guantanamo Bay in Features.


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