To many U.S. officials, it seemed like a perfect job for the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) — an interagency team formed by the Obama administration after a wrenching national debate over Bush-era torture practices and charged with developing humane interrogation methods based on academic research.

But the Trump administration never deployed the elite team to question the American captured in Syria, according to two sources with knowledge of the group’s deployments. The group’s exclusion rattled those who work for it, who fear its days could be numbered under a president who has openly endorsed the torture of terror suspects. In the last week alone, two members of the group’s critical research arm announced their departure, and warned colleagues the organization was in danger.