A Russian member of the Taliban made his first appearance in a federal court in Virginia on Tuesday, marking the first time a military detainee from Afghanistan has been brought to the U.S. for trial.
Irek Hamidullan's appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Novak represents the Obama administration's latest attempt to show that it can use the criminal court system to deal with terror suspects. His arraignment on 12 terrorism charges has been set for Friday morning.
U.S. officials say Hamidullan is a Russian veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan who stayed in the country and joined the Taliban. He was captured in 2009 after an attack on Afghan border police and U.S. soldiers in Khost province. He had been held at the U.S. Parwan detention facility at Bagram airfield before being brought to the U.S.