By Josh Meyer
WASHINGTON — The FBI and Justice Department are gearing up to significantly expand their role in global counterterrorism operations as part of a sharp U.S. policy turnabout, in which a system based primarily on clandestine detentions and interrogations will be replaced by one emphasizing transparent investigations and prosecutions of terrorism suspects.
The effort, which has not been disclosed publicly, includes an initiative dubbed “Global Justice.” FBI agents would participate more centrally in overseas counterterrorism cases, questioning suspects and gathering evidence to ensure that criminal prosecutions are an option wherever possible, according to U.S. counterterrorism officials.
The initiative has been quietly in the works for several months, and many details have not been finalized. But some senior counterterrorism officials and Obama administration policymakers envision it as a centerpiece of the much broader national security framework laid out by the president on Thursday that emphasizes the rule of law, or the principle that even accused terrorists have the right to contest the charges against them in some kind of criminal justice setting.
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