Terrorist Suspect Held Aboard U.S. Navy Ship for 2 Months and Interrogated

By Allan Lengel

A Somali militant with ties to al Qaeda was interrogated aboard a U.S. Navy ship for two months by a High Value Interrogation team that included FBI agents, the LA Times reported.

The Times noted that it was the first time the Obama administration detained a terrorism suspect outside of the criminal justice system.

Senior administration officials revealed the case Tuesday against Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame after his indictment was unsealed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. He was turned over to the FBI after the interrogation aboard the ship.

Authorities charged him with working to broker a weapons deal a weapons deal between Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen and the Somali militant group Shabab.

The Times reported that authorities alleged that he fought on Shabab’s behalf in Somalia in 2009, then went to Yemen in 2010 for explosives training and took part in terrorist activities there.

A press release out of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said Warsame was seized April 19 by U.S. forces in international waters while traveling between Yemen and Somalia. The Times reported that he had been identified by U.S. intelligence as an important target.

While aboard the ship he was “humanely” interrogated by a High-Value Interrogation Group, which consists of FBI, CIA and Defense Department personnel, officials said, according to the Times.

One U.S. official said the CIA did not actually get involved in direct questioning, the result of controversies during the Bush years.

“This defendant is charged not only with providing material support to two notorious terrorist organizations, but with using automatic weapons and explosives to commit violence in the name of their ’cause,’” said Janice K. Fedarcyk, head of the New York FBI, in  a statement.

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