Terrorism

Libya says captured terror suspect should be tried in home country; US says he is lawfully detained


Libya called the U.S. military’s capture of an al-Qaida suspect in Tripoli a “kidnapping” in a statement issued a day after after the Delta Force operation on Saturday.

The suspect, known as Abu Anas al-Libi, was indicted in New York in 2000 on charges of conspiring with Osama bin Laden in terror plots, including the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, report the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Associated Press and the Guardian.

Libya said it is seeking “clarifications” about the abduction, and Libyan nationals should be tried in their own country, the Guardian says.

The suspect’s real name is Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai. He is being interrogated on a Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea and is expected to be sent to New York for prosecution, the Times says. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he is a “legal and appropriate target” who will face justice in a court of law.

The Times says the questioning follows the pattern used by the U.S. after the capture of Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, a former military commander with the Somali terrorist group Shabab who was seized on a fishing vessel. He was interrogated on a ship for more than a month without access to a lawyer or information about his rights. He later waived his rights, the Times says, and pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorist organizations, the Post says.

University of Texas security law expert Robert Chesney told the Post that a long detention for al-Libi could be a problem for federal prosecutors. “The longer you hold him, the trickier it gets,” he said.

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