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Somali Terror Suspect to Be Tried on U.S. Soil

Posted on Jul 6, 2011
U.S. Navy / Matthew Bash

The sun sets behind a U.S. Navy ship in the Gulf of Aden.

A suspected Somali terrorist who was captured and secretly interrogated aboard a U.S. Navy ship for two months while a terror case was built against him was flown from the Gulf of Aden to New York earlier this week to be tried in civilian court.

Bringing 25-year-old Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame to U.S. soil for a public trial rather than to a place like Guantanamo Bay for secret, open-ended detention represents an effort by the Obama administration to be more transparent in its dealings with suspected terrorists. The administration’s decision to try the case in a public proceeding rather than before a military commission is undoubtedly a bold move in the direction of basic human rights, but coupled with secret, months-long interrogations, does it go far enough?  —BF

The New York Times:

While the Justice Department called Mr. Warsame a “Shabab leader,” it does not accuse him of plotting any specific attack. Officials gave conflicting accounts of his significance: one portrayed him as a “senior operational commander” while another played down his role, saying that his capture was instead important because he had provided large amounts of intelligence about the groups and ties between them.

Regardless, his case is likely to have outsize significance in the political arena because it resonates with intense debates surrounding the administration’s counterterrorism policies — including whether to bring newly captured detainees to the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba; whether to prosecute terrorism cases in civilian court or before a military commission; and what rights terrorism suspects have during interrogation.

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By Rodney, July 7, 2011 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment
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Was he tortured? Guess it depends on who is making up the definition.

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By Joe, July 7, 2011 at 7:40 am Link to this comment
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” it does not accuse him of plotting any specific attack”

So he’s not guilty then, case closed.
He should sue Obama for wrongfull arrest or maybe even kidnapping

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By Bones, July 7, 2011 at 4:04 am Link to this comment
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So we can surmise Mr. Warsame, is not a terrorist or disaster capitalist banker.  Otherwise there is not a court in the US that would hear the case.

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By PatrickHenry, July 7, 2011 at 2:56 am Link to this comment

I wonder how long it will be until known US terrorists like Cheney, Rumsfeld and the PNAC crowd are snatched, grabbed and made to talk.

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By Norwegian Shooter, July 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

Your lede is incorrect. He was interrogated for two months for intelligence. The case against him was started from scratch by the FBI after a clean break of several days and a Miranda warning. At least according to the official account.

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By TDoff, July 6, 2011 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

It’s amazing that Ahmed Warsame survived two months of keelhauling under a US Destroyer while being ‘secretly’ interrogated by the Navy.

It will be even more amazing/interesting to read the Navy’s ‘legal’ opinion, written by Atty. General Holder, that continuous keelhauling a suspect for two months under a US Navy destroyer while underway, is not considered ‘torture’ by the US government.

And, lastly, it will be fascinating to read a Wikileaks report, years from now, long after Ahmed has been dispatched to his version of heaven or hell by the US, that Warsame’s actual connection to Somali terrorism was to occasionally feed the goats that provided the milk that one of the terrorist leader’s grandchildren drank.

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