Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, called on the Justice Department Wednesday to appeal a federal judge’s ruling to release a Guantanamo Bay detainee who allegedly had ties to a few of the Sept. 11 hijackers.
In a classified ruling, U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson on Monday ordered the release of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who was once called the “highest value detainee” by a Defense Department official. Smith and Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo.), have expressed outrage over the judge’s decision.
“It is certainly possible, if not likely, that Mr. Slahi will reengage in efforts to commit terrorist attacks against innocent Americans, if allowed to go free,” Smith wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. “This ruling clearly puts the American people in danger and should not be allowed to stand.”
The Obama administration could appeal the ruling or continue to hold Slahi under Authorization of Use of Military Force, according to Reuters.
A DOJ spokesman told Reuters that the agency is “reviewing the decision.”
Smith also requested a briefing from the DOJ on the matter and a copy of the Judge Robertson’s classified ruling for his review. A declassified copy of the order is supposed to be released at a later date, according to Reuters.