A judge Thursday ordered the U.S. government to explain within a week why it is holding prisoner an American-born man who was captured with Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

The judge also directed the government to spell out with whom the United States is fighting its war on terrorism.

Prosecutors have argued that 21-year-old Yaser Esam Hamdi can be held indefinitely without charges because he is an enemy combatant in that war.

"Will the war never be over as long as there is any ... person that may feel they want to attack the United States of A with his parents while a child.

He has been held in jail at the Norfolk Naval Base since April. Only government interrogators and Red Cross representatives have been allowed to see him. Prosecutors have argued that Hamdi might pass secret messages to terrorists through his lawyers.