Saturday, July 13, 2002

Descent into Indefinite Federal Detention

Hussein al-Attas, the man who once gave Zacarias Moussaoui a ride, has been held in solitary confinement since his arrest 10 months ago which occurred while he was worshipping at a mosque. No charges have been filed against the 24 year old, who according to Deborah Hastings in her AP article today, remains in good spirits.

According to Hastings, Al-Attas is being "held by the Justice Department in downtown Manhattan as a material witness in connection with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. His attorneys, silenced by a federal gag order, defend their client during closed hearings and in legal motions filed under seal. "

Al-Attas can receive no visitors, save his attorneys. His only other contact is with a spanish speaking prisoner on the other side of his cell wall. They speak through an air-conditioning duct. Al-Attas has requested a Spanish-Arabic dictionary so he can better communicate with him.

The Government won't say how many people it is holding as material witnesses. What happens after Al-Attas testifies at Moussaoui's trial? Most likely, he gets deported back to Saudi Arabia.

The article has much more on Al-Attas and his connection to Moussaoui.

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