Now, according to a court filing issued on Wednesday, the detainee will be released in an unspecified Syrian town or internally displaced person camp.
The unnamed individual has been detained as an enemy combatant in Iraq since September.
The details of the government's plans for the man, identified in filings as John Doe, came in an affidavit from a Defense Department official, who described the release as "traditional military practice that is employed in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility" and consistent with the military's "obligations under the law of war".
"The government has effectively admitted that it has no reason to continue detaining our client and that he does not pose a threat".
"It's a death warrant...." Wyer claimed the government gave the man a choice of being dropped either outside a town or a refugee camp, but he apparently "would not agree" to the offer. "But, instead of offering a safe release, they want to dump an American citizen onto the side of the road in a war-torn country without any assurances of protection and no identification", ACLU attorney Jonathan Hafetz said in a statement.
"Now, our fight for our client's right to due process has also become a fight for his right to life".
The US Department of Justice declined to comment on the case when contacted by Middle East Eye.
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In court papers, the US has said the man joined the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in 2014 in Syria, and that the man attended a training camp, pledged allegiance to its leader and was listed in an ISIS document as a "fighter".
Third, we note that this proposal emerges just two weeks before the next major hearing in the district court on the underlying merits of Doe's military detention (whether the government has a sufficient actual and legal basis to justify his detention under the 2001 authorization for the use of military force) was supposed to take place.
The Iraqi air force has carried out several air strikes against ISIS in Syria since previous year, with the approval of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and the US -led coalition fighting ISIS.
According to the documents, the suspect identified himself as "Daesh", a common Arabic acronym for IS, which is often used in a pejorative sense. There also were files on how to make specific types of improvised explosive devices and bombs. Once briefing on this new development begins, we will have much more to say both there and here.
Government filings show the man told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he worked for the Islamic State guarding a gas field and monitoring civilians.
After being blocked by a Washington court from handing over the dual US-Saudi citizen, identified only as "John Doe" to Saudi Arabia, the Justice Department said in a filing that it had chose to release the man in Syria, where he was originally taken prisoner.
However, the ACLU successfully argued that it was unconstitutional for a United States citizen to be transferred to another country. Last month, a federal appeals court panel upheld the ruling. No court has yet ruled on whether the suspect's detention is lawful or not.