The Trump administration has brought Ali Charaf Damache, a suspected al-Qaeda recruiter, to face trial in the United States, the New York Times reports. The move may come as a surprise to President Donald Trump's supporters, many of whom favored his hardline, tough-on-terrorism approach; Trump has long asserted that individuals accused of terrorism, including Americans, should be sent to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Last year, as President Barack Obama reaffirmed his commitment to closing Guantanamo Bay, which was established in the wake of the September 11th attacks and housed hundreds of suspected terrorists without trial, Trump promised to keep the facility open, despite global concerns about torture and abuse. "[W]e're gonna load it up with some bad dudes, believe me, we're gonna load it up," Trump said at a Nevada campaign rally. He's also in the past taken to social media to express this iron-fisted approach:
Damache, a dual Algerian and Irish citizen, was arrested in Spain in 2015 for his alleged involvement in a failed attempt to kill a Swedish cartoonist who had drawn the Prophet Muhammad. Damache will appear in federal court Friday in Philadelphia, making him the first foreigner brought to the U.S. to face terrorism charges under Trump.