Republican lawmakers and numerous counterterrorism experts on Tuesday claim President Barack Obama is allowing national security to take a backseat to the liberal-left, political-correctness orthodoxy by refusing to allow a captured an al-Qaeda leader to be detained at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, U.S. military detention center, according to the Republican National Committee.
U.S. special forces captured al-Qaeda leader Abu Anas al-Libi in a surprise raid in Tripoli, Libya, last week, but he is being temporarily held onboard a Navy warship for preliminary questioning before being transferred to the United States for prosecution in the federal criminal justice system, said Obama administration officials.
Prior to his capture, al-Libi was indicted by the federal court in New York City for his alleged participation in the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania, and Kenya, in 1998.
But a growing number of lawmakers and security experts believe al-Libi should be sent to Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) to be thoroughly interrogated by intelligence officers and perhaps prosecuted in a military trial, according to a former intelligence officer and police detective, Lawrence Callahan.
"Interrogations by intelligence officers and those conducted by law enforcement are completely different. They have different methods and different objectives," Callahan said. "Intelligence officers want to know everything and anything the suspected terrorists knows especially planned attacks by his or her fellow Islamists."
"Cops conduct interrogations in order to [garner] a confession or collect evidence to present to a court of law," he added.
“Al-Libi is the highest value target we have captured in years,” said Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence panel.
“Some folks have been in [Gitmo] for 10 years, and we are still getting information from them,” he added during a press conference.
President Barack Obama promised during his campaign in 2008 to completely close Gitmo. Yet, five years later he assigned Paul Lewis, an attorney and advisor to congress, to work with the U.S. State Department to shutdown the detention center.
Obama on Tuesday during his press conference defended his decision to try al-Libi in civilian court, and boasted that his prosecutors have more than enough evidence to convict the al-Qaeda leader.
“We know that Mr. al-Libi planned and helped execute plots that killed hundreds of people, a whole lot of Americans, and we have strong evidence of that,” Obama said during a White House press conference.
“He will be brought to justice,” Obama told reporters.