House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said U.S. officials have one month to interrogate the suspected ringleader behind the Benghazi attack before reading him his Miranda rights.
“He's on a Navy ship at sea. They can interrogate him for up to a month,” said McCaul on CNN’s “Erin Burnett Outfront” on Wednesday.
“I would argue they should do so before he's read his Miranda rights,” he added.
Ahmed Abu Khattala is being held on the USS New York, according to multiple reports, after U.S. Special Operations forces captured him near Benghazi last Sunday.
He’s believed to be one of the masterminds behind the 2012 attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. citizens.
“We want to find out who he is working with to attack Benghazi and kill our ambassador, who was responsible. There is a lot of intelligence inside of his head that we need to get into,” said McCaul, who has been briefed on the situation.
When Khattala’s capture was made public Tuesday, a number of Republican lawmakers called for him to be sent to Guantánamo Bay and interrogated without being read his Miranda rights.
The Obama administration, though, said he won’t be sent to Gitmo and will be tried in a federal court in Washington once he arrives in the U.S.
Last year, Khattala and at least a dozen others were charged by the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia with playing a role in the Benghazi attacks.
On Wednesday, former deputy CIA Director Mike Morell said the sooner Khattala arrives in the U.S., the more likely it is that he will have provided intelligence.
“I think the longer he spends at sea, the less he’s talking,” Morell said.