A jury has been selected for the trial of a Russian military veteran accused of leading a Taliban attack against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Irek Hamidullin faces 15 terror-related charges, some of them punishable by up to life in prison. His trial began Thursday in U.S. District Court in Richmond. Opening statements are set for Friday morning.
According to prosecutors, Hamidullin led three groups of insurgents in a 2009 attack on Afghan border police and U.S. forces in Khowst province. The insurgents were virtually wiped out, and Hamidullin was captured. The coalition forces sustained no casualties.
The case is one of the latest examples of the Obama administration's effort to show it can use the criminal court system to deal with terror suspects. The move has been criticized by some Republican lawmakers who believe such cases should be handled by military tribunals.