AUSTIN (KXAN) - A military lawyer assigned to defend a suspected Al-Qaiadamastermind is in Austin this weekend to consult with the Universityof Texas’ National Security Law Clinic. Major Jon Jackson iscounsel to Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsawi, the man believed to havearranged and financed the 9/11 attacks and other terroristplots.
Al Hawsawi is one of 245 detainees still being held atGuantanamo Bay, down from a peak at one time of 770 prisoners.Gitmo will be closed one year from now and no decision has beenmade about where to move the prisoners. There is currently a 120day legal stay on all proceedings at the camp, as the Obamaadministration grapples with several tangled legal issues. MajorJackson said all the legal minds working on these cases are inuncharted waters,
"It is the most complex, volatile, uncertain, ambiguous case Ihave ever dealt with. You’ve got international law,you’ve got criminal law, so everything I learned in lawschool is pretty much thrown out the window, and we’restarting at square one when it comes to the militarycommissions."
Al Hawsawi was captured in 2003 and held at a CIA black ops siteuntil he was transferred to Guantanamo in 2006. He is part of theso called 9/11 Five, considered the most dangerous and high valueof all the prisoners. Even so, Major Jackson says Al Hawsawi hasbeen better behaved than some of the others,
"Mr. Al Hawsawi has always been respectful to me. My impressionof him is he’s a very respectful individual, he’s neverbeen belligerent towards me. I can’t say that for all theaccused. There have been instances where attorneys have beentreated very harshly by the clients they’re trying tohelp."
There is speculation some or all of the Gitmo prisoners could bemoved to Bagram, Afghanistan. Being Afghani soil, the detainees mayagain be held indefinitely and possibly without trial.
Family and friends held a vigil Wednesday at the State Capitol in hopes that a Bastrop man can win a new trial.
An unusually cold blast of arctic air arriving early Thursday will be followed by an increasing chance of freezing drizzle/rain and sleet by Friday morning.
The HealthCare.gov website is working more smoothly for central Texans.
City leaders in West Lake Hills discussed the ongoing concern with the city's water system Wednesday night. The problems arise when water is needed most; fighting fires.
Federal, state and local authorities on Wednesday arrested 15 people and seized 70 firearms in raid on a methamphetamine operation based in Burnet County.
Former Georgetown Police Officer Stephanie Brown said her ex-boyfriend, former Round Rock Officer Eric Poteet, made up accusations against her after she broke up with him.