A Qatari man declared an enemy combatant by the United States and imprisoned for years over terrorist links has returned home to the Gulf nation.

Nephew Saleh Garallah Kahlah al-Marri said Sunday that Ali al-Marri returned home Saturday night in high spirits, and was greeted by Qatari government representatives.

Ali al-Marri was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2009 after pleading guilty to conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization. He admitted having links to al-Qaida but no evidence showed he had a specific mission in the U.S.

He received the relatively light sentence because of what the judge at the time called "unacceptable" treatment in a U.S. Navy brig during nearly six years he was held without charge as an enemy combatant.