The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a Somali militant linked to al-Qaida was held and interrogated for two months on a U.S. Navy ship — the first publicly known example of the Obama administration secretly detaining a new terrorism suspect outside the criminal-justice system.
Senior administration officials revealed the case Tuesday after an indictment against the man, Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, was unsealed in federal court in New York. The indictment, which does not mention Warsame's military detention, charges that he worked to broker a weapons deal between al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen and the Somali militant group Shabab. It alleges that he fought on Shabab's behalf in Somalia in 2009, then went to Yemen in 2010 for explosives training and took part in terrorist activities there.
According to administration officials, Warsame was seized April 19 by U.S. forces in international waters while traveling between Yemen and Somalia. He had been identified by U.S. intelligence as an important target, the officials said. A second person taken into custody with Warsame was later released, the officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing intelligence matters.
President Obama is talking the debt ceiling and kids' nutrition while secretly detaining an alleged al-Qaida terrorist suspect outside of the justice system? This reminds us of the Osama bin Laden takedown, in which the president was cracking jokes at a function while the plan to take out bin Laden was moving forward.
Holding anyone outside of the U.S. justice system is problematic, but in the name of fighting terrorism, we sometimes have to measure theory against reality. The theory that all people, even alleged terrorists, should be considered innocent until proven guilty is a good one. The reality is that this theory is not always possible when one is facing the real threat of terrorism. Clearly, the president understands that. The question is, do we?
Read more at the Los Angeles Times.
In other news: Marcia Clark: Casey Anthony Verdict Worse Than O.J.