Sen. Ayotte: Send captured ISIS fighter to Gitmo

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Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) is demanding that President Obama send a recently captured member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to Guantánamo Bay instead of turning him over to another government.

“ISIS continues to pose a dangerous threat to the U.S. and our allies, and the capture of a high-ranking ISIS terrorist is a significant opportunity to gather valuable intelligence and prevent future attacks. The detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, is designed specifically for this purpose,” Ayotte said Friday.

{mosads}Her comments come amid reports this week that a U.S. special operations team captured a “significant” ISIS terrorist but that officials planned to turn the detainee over to Kurdish or Iraqi officials after interrogating him.

The prospect that U.S. forces could increasingly capture ISIS fighters has raised fresh legal questions about who should hold them, and where they should be tried. 

The administration, however, has refused to send captured terrorists to the controversial military prison at Gitmo.

Obama submitted a plan to close it the facility to Congress late last month. 

Republicans quickly panned the proposal, suggesting the president was putting a last-ditch effort to fulfill a long-standing campaign pledge above national security. 

Ayotte added that the capture of the ISIS fighter raises questions about “a long-term detention policy for future terrorists,” which she said the administration failed to address in its plan.

The administration’s proposal included a section on “future detainees,” noting that it looks at “new captures on a case-by-case basis.”

Ayotte has been one of the Senate’s most outspoken critics of the president’s push to close Guantánamo Bay and move some detainees into the United States.  

The blue-state Republican has put national security at the center of her tough reelection bid, telling reporters late last month that “I think my constituents very clearly don’t want terrorists coming back in the fight” and “don’t want these terrorists brought to the United States of America.”

Gov. Maggie Hassan, her likely Democratic opponent, also suggested that she isn’t supportive of Obama’s plan, one of a handful of Democratic candidates for Senate who quickly broke with the president. 

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