Libyan al-Qaida suspect arrives in US
Oct 14, 2013 / 1:11 pm
A Libyan who has been held and interrogated for a week aboard a U.S. warship is now in New York awaiting trial on terrorism charges, U.S. officials said Monday.
The al-Qaida suspect, known as Abu Anas al-Libi, was grabbed in a military raid in Libya on Oct. 5. He's due to stand trial in New York City, where he has been under indictment for more than a decade on charges he helped plan and conduct surveillance for the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara confirmed that al-Libi was transferred to law enforcement custody in New York over the weekend. Al-Libi was expected to be arraigned Tuesday, Bharara said.
President Barack Obama's administration took criticism years ago when it decided to prosecute admitted 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York, rather than at the naval prison at Guantanamo Bay. After reversing course, however, the government has successfully prosecuted several terrorism cases in civilian courts.
Intelligence officials interrogated al-Libi for a week aboard the U.S.S. San Antonio in the Mediterranean. Interrogations at sea have replaced CIA black sites as the U.S. government's preferred method for holding suspected terrorists and questioning them without access to lawyers.
Al-Libi's al-Qaida ties date back to the terrorist group's early years, according to court documents. That would make him a valuable source of information about the group's history.
It's unclear whether he could offer fresh intelligence on the group, the core of which has been battered and fragmented.
Al-Libi has longstanding health issues and will get medical testing while in custody to determine whether he needs treatment, U.S. officials said. Where exactly al-Libi is being held and where that testing would take place is unclear.
Al-Libi, whose full name is Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, used to be on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists. His family has denied he was in al-Qaida.
Known as one of al-Qaida's early computer experts, al-Libi is believed to have used an early-generation Apple computer to assemble surveillance photographs in Kenya before a bombing there killed more than 200. That information was presented to Osama bin Laden, who approved the bombing, a former federal law enforcement official has said.
Read more World News
- 72nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor
- Egypt court reduces heavy sentences
- Attacks kill 15 in Iraq
- Mandela's state funeral set for Dec. 15
- Hundreds to celebrate pot anniversary
- Woman live-tweets husband's death
- Shanghai pollution at dangerous levels
- Whale rescuers feeling more optimistic
- Driving 50-ton battle tank - not easy
- Russian diplomats accused of fraud
- White House changes story
- Three years in prison for ivory smuggler
(Click for RSS instructions.)