As U.S. interrogators have been dispatched to interrogate Abu Anas al-Liby, a suspected al Qaeda operative, Libya has spoken out against his rendition and the Obama administration has strongly defended the move.
The raid in Libya was first reported on Saturday, but as of Monday Obama administration officials said they still do not know what kind of legal process the suspect will face, according to the Guardian.
Al-Liby was indicted 13 years ago by the United States for his alleged role in embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed over 220 people.
The United States has said that the capture of al-Liby in Tripoli was completely legal because al-Liby is “a key al-Qaeda figure,” according to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
“He is a legal and an appropriate target for the US military under the authorization of the use of the military force passed in September of 2001,” Kerry said, according to EuroNews.
The Libyan government, on the other hand, has called the capture of al-Liby a “kidnapping,” according to the Guardian.
Some Libyans contend that the capture of al-Liby, whose real name is Nazih Abdul-Hamed Nabih al-Ruqai’i, was a violation of Libyan law and their nation’s sovereignty, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
Kerry, of course, maintains that the rendition was not a kidnapping.
Interestingly, the Associated Press notes that it is “unclear whether the 49-year-old al-Libi had a major role in the terror organization — his alleged role in the 1998 attack was to scout one of the targeted embassies — and there was no immediate word that he had been involved in militant activities in Libya.”
The AP also points out that former associates of al-Liby, along with his family, deny that he was ever even a member of al-Qaeda. They also say he was not involved in any activities since he returned to Libya in 2011.
Al-Liby’s son, Abdullah, told The Daily Telegraph that his father was an innocent man who worked at a pizza restaurant in Britain and was forced to leave because of “police harassment.”
Al-Liby has reportedly not been read his Miranda rights, according to anonymous officials who spoke to the Associated Press.
U.S. interrogators from the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group are reportedly on their way to the USS San Antonio in international waters, where al-Liby is currently being detained.
It remains to be seen if al-Liby will be brought to the U.S. to face a civilian trial, but Kerry has said that he will “now have an opportunity to defend himself and to be appropriately brought to justice in a court of law.”
“As far as future venues for Liby, we will have to let that process play out,” Said Paul Breeson, a spokesman for the FBI.
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This article first appeared at End the Lie.