Captured al Qaeda leader 'to be treated like anyone else,' says top Dem

U.S. special forces captured Anas al-Liby on Sunday during an American-led counterterrorism operation, according to the Pentagon. 


"On Oct.5, the Department of Defense, acting under military authorities, conducted an operation to apprehend longtime Al Qaeda member Abu Anas al Libi in Libya," Pentagon spokesman George Little said Sunday. 

Al-Liby, who was on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list, was indicted in absentia by a federal court in the southern district of New York for his alleged involvement in the bombings of the United States embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, in 1998.

Recent reports citing administration sources say the White House has already decided to try al-Liby on those charges before a civilian court, and not the military tribunal in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. 

On Monday, Ruppersberger declined to comment on whether he should be remanded to Guantánamo. 

But he did note the "criminal justice system in the U.S. is a good system ... I am sure with the evidence we have right now, we would win the case" against al-Liby in a federal trial. 

He declined to comment on whether al-Liby is being subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques" during questioning by American intelligence officials. 

Al-Liby is reportedly being held aboard a Navy warship in international waters in the region. 

"If he does not want to talk, he will go through our [interrogation] system," Ruppersberger said. 

Ruppersberger's comments come after fellow Democrat and House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffAll eyes on Garland after Bannon contempt vote House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Manchin heatedly dismisses rumors of leaving Democratic Party MORE (D-Calif.) demanded al-Liby's case be handed by the Justice Department and not the Pentagon. 

"Nothing must be done to compromise ... the ability of Justice Department prosecutors to seek justice" for the American victims of the terrorist attacks al-Liby is accused of carrying out, he said in a statement Monday. 

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThune endorses Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race Pennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress McCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral MORE (R-S.C.) pushed back against calls by Schiff and other lawmakers for a civilian trial for al Libi. 

"I believe the most responsible course of action would be to hold al Libi as an enemy combatant at [Guantánamo Bay] for intelligence-gathering purposes," the South Carolina Republican said in a tweet Monday.