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Ahmad Abousamra, 31, last lived in the U.S. in a tony Boston suburb and has relatives in Detroit. He left the United States in 2006 and may now be living in Aleppo, Syria, with his wife, at least one daughter and other relatives. He was indicted in 2009 for taking multiple trips to Pakistan and Yemen to seek jihad training and has been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda.
SEC. 1021. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF
THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES TO
DETAIN COVERED PERSONS PURSUANT TO THE
AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE.
(a) In General.--Congress affirms that the authority of the
President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the
Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C.
1541 note) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United
States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending
disposition under the law of war.
(b) Covered Persons.--A covered person under this section is any
person as follows:
(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided
the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or
harbored those responsible for those attacks.
(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported
al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in
hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners,
including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has
directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.
The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks. By and large, Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions are tired, divided, chaotic, and ineffective. Feeling abandoned by the West, rebel forces are increasingly demoralized as they square off with the Assad regime's superior weaponry and professional army. Al-Qaeda fighters, however, may help improve morale. The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results. In short, the FSA needs al-Qaeda now.
The Associated Press reported on Thursday that the Obama administration is seeking to “rally Syria’s opposition” against Bashar Al Assad by providing them with $45 million of taxpayer money in humanitarian aid and “non-lethal” supplies, such as communication equipment.