CBSN

Trump administration transfers al Qaeda suspect to the U.S. to face terrorism charges

US President Donald Trump speaks about the Senate health care bill during a lunch with members of the US military in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, July 18, 2017. 

Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration has transferred an al Qaeda suspect from Spain to the U.S. to face trial in federal court for terrorism charges, CBS News has confirmed.

Ali Charaf Damache was charged with helping to plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist who depicted the Prophet Muhammad in cartoons, according to The New York Times, which first reported the transfer.

Damache was scheduled to appear in federal court Friday in Philadelphia, which the report says makes him the first foreigner brought to the U.S. to face terrorism charges under President Trump.

Mr. Trump and members of his administration, like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have previously advocated using the prison at Guantanamo Bay to hold and prosecute terrorism suspects, the report notes.

Former President Obama sought to close the detention facility, but was unsuccessful, with Congress blocking him from fulfilling that promise. Instead, he transferred 161 detainees from the prison. Mr. Trump made clear on the 2016 campaign trail that he opposed Mr. Obama's efforts and called on him before the inauguration to stop releasing detainees.