US interrogating captured AQ leader without Miranda rights

posted at 10:41 am on October 7, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Looks like the Obama administration learned from its past handling of terrorists — or perhaps the circumstances of a rare capture have forced them to a war footing rather than a law-enforcement approach. NBC News reports that the terrorist captured in Libya by a special-forces raid will not be given Miranda rights, at least not immediately. Instead, the intelligence services will have time to extract any information about potential future operations targeting Americans from Abu Anas al-Libi, one of the US’ most-wanted terrorists for 15 years:

United States interrogators who specialize in so-called high value targets will question a suspected al Qaeda operative aboard an American warship without reading him his rights, U.S. officials told NBC News on Monday.

The suspect, Abu Anas al-Libi, was whisked off the streets of the Libyan capital of Tripoli over the weekend. He will be taken to the United States to stand trial in the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the officials said.

The interrogation will be conducted by a team including representatives of the CIA, the FBI and the military aboard the USS San Antonio, an amphibious helicopter carrier in the Mediterranean Sea, the officials said. …

By interrogating al-Libi, U.S. officials hope to get information about al Qaeda activities or pending operations in or outside of Libya, the officials said.

Richard Engel states that the US will likely try al-Libi in the US for his role in the 1998 twin embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. That case has been waiting for nothing other than al-Libi’s capture, which may be one reason why the US government isn’t terribly concerned about Miranda rights in this case. His arrest and interrogation may have little to do with the 1998 case, so there is little risk in poisoning evidence presented in civil court.

On the other hand, the manner of his “arrest” could potentially become an issue in court. Libya certainly has an objection to it:

The Libyan government on Sunday condemned what it called the “kidnapping” of one of its citizens after Ruqai, known by the alias Anas al-Libi, was forced out of his car and bundled away by men his brother described as foreign-looking “commandos.”

Addressing the Libyan complaints, Secretary of State John F. Kerry called Ruqai “a key al-Qaeda figure.”

“He is a legal and an appropriate target for the U.S. military,” Kerry said, and will face trial in an American court.

Theoretically at least, being an appropriate military target doesn’t necessarily mean that his arrest will pass muster in a civilian court. The two have different sets of rules, and a judge could get persnickety about the difference. In reality, one would have to search a long time for a federal judge willing to let a high-ranking al-Qaeda leader out on such a technicality, of course, and we have other precedents — the most dramatic of which was the capture and trial of Manuel Noriega, then-dictator of Panama.

If Libya objects, then perhaps they should have arrested and extradited al-Libi themselves over the last two years. After all, he was living in Tripoli, which is one of the few areas of Libya even under their nominal control.

Engel describes the dramatic snatch-and-grab operation:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Kudos to the special-forces team that carried this out. But that raises another question: why haven’t we done the same with those who sacked the Benghazi consulate last year?


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Do we Mirandaize terrorists?

OmahaConservative on October 7, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Do you remember the ages where this wouldn’t have been news?

Shy Guy on October 7, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Do you remember the age where this wouldn’t have been news?

Shy Guy on October 7, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Double post toasties!

Shy Guy on October 7, 2013 at 10:45 AM

But that raises another question: why haven’t we done the same with those who sacked the Benghazi consulate last year?

They got the guy that made the YouTube video.
Case closed, dude.

albill on October 7, 2013 at 10:45 AM

But I’m sure he’ll get his California drivers license once he arrives here…

PatriotRider on October 7, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Kudos to the special-forces team that carried this out. But that raises another question: why haven’t we done the same with those who sacked the Benghazi consulate last year?

Because captured terrorists will lead to troubling political questions for our lazy stupid President and the pig that wants to take the White House in 2016.

When it comes to Benghazi, the only person captured, thrown into jail, and interrogated made a YouTube video. And that is the way it is going to be until after November 2016.

Happy Nomad on October 7, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Man, another victim of a warmongering warmonger who mongers war.

Hey verbie, libfree, sesqui, is this Hope or Change because we’re having trouble keeping it all straight out here in flyover land.

Bishop on October 7, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Creating more terrorists… recruitment material…

/2008

mankai on October 7, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Just take the jerk out and sit on a pile of dynamite, let him sit there for a couple of days and then set it off.

SC.Charlie on October 7, 2013 at 10:47 AM

In reality, one would have to search a long time for a federal judge willing to let a high-ranking al-Qaeda leader out on such a technicality

Do we really believe there aren’t federal judges itchin’ to make a statement? Half the federal government hates the US and believes we’re the problem in the world.

mankai on October 7, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Why do I read in some places where he is being Mirandized and others that he is not? And why is a prisoner of war(remember, they declared war on us)given US Constitutional rights. He, at the most, is an enemy combatant, although probably not even that by the Geneva Convention.

yesiamapirate on October 7, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Sounds like a job for Eric Holder.

Quick Eric, whip up one of those habeas corpus petitions you’ve used for so many of your former terrorist clients. While you’re at it, draft a civil complaint for a lawsuit against the U.S. for the violation of this poor terrorist’s civil rights.

And don’t forget to include yourself as a defendant!

AZCoyote on October 7, 2013 at 10:53 AM

why haven’t we done the same with those who sacked the Benghazi consulate last year?

Ed, he was involved in the strategics.

Libi only went to to Libya because Zawahiri ordered him to take over the AQ region.

Libi then planned the attack under the fog of the Cairo Embassy protests, which was orchestrated by Zawahiri’s brother and the sons of Rahman.

This is common knowledge in Egypt.

budfox on October 7, 2013 at 10:54 AM

This is the one thing that makes me think that The Won’s internals aren’t looking so great on the shut down. He can do anything he wants as long as Gitmo isn’t involved.

Cindy Munford on October 7, 2013 at 10:58 AM

I’m sure Obama and Holder have a special plan in mind here…something that’ll manage to turn reason upside down and apply nonsense instead.

Lourdes on October 7, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Theoretically at least, being an appropriate military target doesn’t necessarily mean that his arrest will pass muster in a civilian court.

Actually, it does fully pass muster.
U.S. v. Alvarez-Machain 504 U.S. 655.

Chief Justice REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court.

The issue in this case is whether a criminal defendant, abducted to the United States from a nation with which it has an extradition treaty, thereby acquires a defense to the jurisdiction of this country’s courts. We hold that he does not, and that he may be tried in federal district court for violations of the criminal law of the United States.

Now as to the Miranda rights issue, that’s another question. And it’s why these guys should be given military tribunals, as they are at war with us, rather than tried in civilian criminal court.

rbj on October 7, 2013 at 11:00 AM

And why is a prisoner of war(remember, they declared war on us)given US Constitutional rights.

yesiamapirate on October 7, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Because Eric Holder and Barry Obama say so. We’re not in a “war on terror,” we just have some minor criminal issues to resolve with these misunderstood jihadis, er, I mean “workplace violence” suspects.

Read them their Miranda rights, arraign them in a civilian federal court, and give them a trial by jury just like any other American . . . er, uh, I mean criminal suspect.

AZCoyote on October 7, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Just take the jerk out and sit on a pile of dynamite, let him sit there for a couple of days and then set it off.

SC.Charlie on October 7, 2013 at 10:47 AM

No, after draining him of all the intel we can, take him up in a Blackhawk and when reaching the exact height of the WTC shove him out to the street or parking lot below.

TXUS on October 7, 2013 at 11:06 AM

The interrogation will be conducted by a team including representatives of the CIA, the FBI and the military aboard the USS San Antonio, an amphibious helicopter carrier in the Mediterranean Sea, the officials said.

Since ‘enhanced interrogation’ is out, I guess they just have to talk this guy to death.

Bitter Clinger on October 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Since ‘enhanced interrogation’ is out, I guess they just have to talk this guy to death.

Bitter Clinger on October 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Does putting Obama speeches on continuous loop constitute an enhanced interrogation method? Because a couple of hours of that would have anybody singing like a magpie.

Happy Nomad on October 7, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Since ‘enhanced interrogation’ is out, I guess they just have to talk this guy to death.

Bitter Clinger on October 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM

It’s now called interrogation enhancement.

Judean Peoples Front.

Bishop on October 7, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Since ‘enhanced interrogation’ is out, I guess they just have to talk this guy to death.

Bitter Clinger on October 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Can they threaten to rub his face in a pork chop? Or is that considered torture?

Why didn’t they drone the Somali terrorists? Who leaked the op? How did they know our guys were coming?

dogsoldier on October 7, 2013 at 11:17 AM

US interrogating captured AQ leader without Miranda rights

Thank God Bush is back.

Now get Cheney, a bench and a bucket of water and we’re talking turkey!

Good times, baby, good times!

Bruno Strozek on October 7, 2013 at 11:17 AM

“…extract any information…?” Let’s wait for Nancy Pelosi to charge in and make sure there’s no waterboarding or other “extreme” measures, like, ya know, torture or nothin’….waiting…still waiting…

Much less the hypocrisy of this regime/administration for not bringing the dude straight into a NYC courtroom and publicize their victory of law over military might, yada, yada, yada, unlike that evil Booooooosh guy!! El3venty!!!!

DublOh7 on October 7, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Does putting Obama speeches on continuous loop constitute an enhanced interrogation method? Because a couple of hours of that would have anybody singing like a magpie.

Happy Nomad on October 7, 2013 at 11:13 AM

I wonder if Queen Elizabeth flushed that iPod of Obama’s speeches down the ‘loo.

Bitter Clinger on October 7, 2013 at 11:24 AM

I wonder if Queen Elizabeth flushed that iPod of Obama’s speeches down the ‘loo.

Bitter Clinger on October 7, 2013 at 11:24 AM

I’m guessing it was re-gifted.

Happy Nomad on October 7, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Put him in a room with Michelle for a few hours. He’ll spill his guts.

PD Quig on October 7, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Is this scumbag a U.S. citizen? No! Then he is not entitled to protections of the U.S. Constitution. That is how I feel and there isn’t anyone going to change my mind on the subject. Torture his soul until it bleeds then kill him. Dip him in boiling bacon fat, which should do the trick for both.

D-fusit on October 7, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Where’s Peter Quinn when we need him?

Blake on October 7, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Why didn’t they drone the Somali terrorists? Who leaked the op? How did they know our guys were coming?

dogsoldier on October 7, 2013 at 11:17 AM

One of Manning’s boy-friends?

Cleombrotus on October 7, 2013 at 11:49 AM

The interrogation will be conducted by a team including representatives of the CIA, the FBI and the military aboard the USS San Antonio, an amphibious helicopter carrier in the Mediterranean Sea

Ok, I’ve got to ask it. If he’s been forced to board a ship in the Mediterranean Sea, isn’t he technically already “water-boarded”?

Rovin on October 7, 2013 at 11:55 AM

They want to have a show-trial in NY.

He is not a citizen of the U.S. One of the things I became aware of a long time ago living overseas – is the people think it is pure arrogance that U.S. thinks our laws apply to everyone in the world.

Once they find out he knows nothing, just shoot him.

TerryW on October 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM

There is no such thing as “Miranda rights”.

There is a “Miranda warning” than informs you of the rights that you already and have always had.

db on October 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

As an armed irregular combatant without insignia of rank, unit, nationality etc, he should be tortured for info and shot. He has no rights.

Akzed on October 7, 2013 at 12:04 PM

p.s.

A foreign terrorist does not have these rights. Reading the warning to them does not give them any rights. You are just lying to them at that point by telling them that they have rights that they do not actually have.

db on October 7, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Why didn’t they drone the Somali terrorists? Who leaked the op? How did they know our guys were coming?

dogsoldier on October 7, 2013 at 11:17 AM

See, I think this is really the more important question, why are we hearing about this at all? Isn’t our position better served in terms of intelligence gathering and then action on that intelligence better served if the whole thing is secret?

JusDreamin on October 7, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Isoroku Yamamoto never had his rights read to him.

Alberta_Patriot on October 7, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Isoroku Yamamoto never had his rights read to him.

Alberta_Patriot on October 7, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Well, he wasn’t exactly captured.

Who knows, maybe they read his his rights over the radio?

mankai on October 7, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Terrorists have no US rights.

Schadenfreude on October 7, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Can someone explain to me how authorities can arrest (or kidnap or whatever term you want to use) a suspect, refuse the Miranda warning, interrogate with enhanced techniques on a ship outside of territorial boundaries, then haul him to say New York for a public trial and not expect a green kid right out of law school like Matt Damon in The Rainmaker will walk him out of the courthouse at the arraignment hearing free as a bird?

Tenwheeler on October 7, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Can someone explain to me how authorities can arrest (or kidnap or whatever term you want to use) a suspect, refuse the Miranda warning, interrogate with enhanced techniques on a ship outside of territorial boundaries, then haul him to say New York for a public trial and not expect a green kid right out of law school like Matt Damon in The Rainmaker will walk him out of the courthouse at the arraignment hearing free as a bird?

Tenwheeler on October 7, 2013 at 1:31 PM

By not using evidence obtained during his interrogation against him at trial.

Alberta_Patriot on October 7, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Hold him as a prisoner of war because, that is what he is, then try him on the charges after the war ends.

Gwillie on October 7, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Why was this or the the Somali raid publicized at all?? The on the ground folks at both said the raids were conducted by foreigners — why couldn’t we/the media leave it at that. No need to tell anyone the result.

He could have been kidnapped to go into the sex trade or by slave traders. They don’t use Miranda. Their victims rarely make it back to their origins nor is it reported in the media.

KenInIL on October 7, 2013 at 2:47 PM

without reading him his rights,

American law extends to America and Americans, not any rag bag jihadist covered under Islam. Of course he won’t be connected with beautiful Islam and the Muslims that are swell fellas.

BL@KBIRD on October 7, 2013 at 3:40 PM