Somali's secret detention legal: US

2011-07-06 20:26

Washington - The White House on Wednesday defended the treatment of an alleged leader of Somalia's Shebab Islamist insurgency who was interrogated for two months on a US warship, saying his detention was lawful.

In the first known case of the secret detention of a terror suspect by the administration of President Barack Obama, Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame was captured in the Gulf on April 19 and kept aboard a US Navy ship at sea.

The Somali national was indicted on Tuesday in a New York court on charges of providing material support to both the Shabaab and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based branch of the Islamist terror group.

Warsame, 25, "was detained lawfully, under the law of war, aboard a US Navy ship until he was transferred in the US for prosecution," White House spokesperson Jay Carney said.

"The International Committee of the Red Cross was told of Warsame's detention on the ship, visited the site of detention and had the opportunity to interview the detainee aboard the ship," he added.

The Justice Department said in a statement that Warsame was informed of his rights, but had agreed to keep talking to law enforcement officials for seven days after that. He was turned over to the FBI before being flown to New York.

On Tuesday a US official, who asked not to be named, told AFP that Warsame had been questioned according to the rules set out by the Army which place strict limits on interrogation techniques.

"Wherever possible, our first priority is and always has been to apprehend terrorist suspects and to preserve the opportunity to elicit valuable intelligence that can help us protect the American people. In this case the government has been able to acquire very valuable intelligence," Carney said.

Warsame faces nine counts including acting as a go-between between the two groups, providing them with both money and training between 2007 and 2011. He faces a life sentence if convicted on the terror and weapons charges.

The case provides an insight into how the Obama administration plans to question and try detainees outside war zones after closing the CIA's secret prison network.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  us  |  us terror threat
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

De Allende's star burns bright
Boks were 'in a dark space'
Pacific island teams singled out for rough tactics?
Ireland favourites but France bullish
Traffic Alerts

It is always easier to notice the faults in others rather than face our own. Focusing too much on the perfect and ideal more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.