WASHINGTON, June 23 (UPI) -- Justice and Defense officials Monday said Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri had been designated an enemy combatant and had been handed over to the Defense Department.
The U.S. officials said information from unidentified detainees led them to change Al-Marri's status.
Al-Marri, a native of Qatar, was named in a seven-count indictment in Illinois for allegedly making false statements to the FBI during the bureau's investigation into the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
Among those statements was a denial that Al-Marri called Mustafa Ahmed al-Hasawi, who is alleged to be a money handler for al-Qaida. Federal investigators said Al-Marri also had several unauthorized credit cards and had provided false information in setting up accounts in three Macomb, Ill., banks.
The designation as an enemy combatant means Al-Marri will not have many of the rights afforded regular suspects, including the right to an attorney.