Washington (CNN) -- A U.S. federal appeals court Friday overturned a court decision to release a Guantanamo detainee accused of helping al Qaeda.
Mohammedou Ould Salahi was set be released after a lower court ruled the government could not prove his association with the terrorist network, but the decision was reversed in light of recent trial cases that raised questions over how an individual is determined to be part of al Qaeda.
The earlier ruling identified Salahi as an "al-Qaida sympathizer," but the lack of recent cases "left unresolved key factual questions necessary for us to determine as a matter of law whether Salahi was 'part of' al-Qaida when captured," according to the appeals court order.
The ruling sides with the Justice Department by vacating a judge's order to release the Guantanamo detainee.
Salahi was never released from custody during the appeals process.