US defends Liby capture in Tripoli amid debate on legal process
Abu Anas al-Liby is in the brig of a US navy ship in the Mediterranean sea
Protesters burn a replica of the US flag during a demonstration in Benghazi yesterday against the capture of Abu Anas al-Liby.
The Obama administration has strongly defended its unexpected capture of an alleged al- Qaeda operative from a Libya street at the weekend, but says that officials have yet to decide what form of legal process he will face.
Abu Anas al-Liby, indicted by the US 13 years ago for his role in embassy bombings that killed more than 220 people, is in the brig of a US navy ship somewhere in the Mediterranean sea, waiting to learn if he will be tried in the New York federal court that indicted him, or face a military commission.
Liby, wanted for the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, was seized as he parked his car in Tripoli on Saturday, in a raid condemned as a “kidnapping” by the Libyan government.
The last known time the administration detained a terrorist suspect aboard a navy ship, it did so for more than two months, before handing that suspect to a federal court in New York. Some administration officials expect Liby will undergo a similar process.
Secretary of state John Kerry called Liby a “legal and appropriate target” for the US, while suggesting that he would receive justice in a civilian court.
“I hope the perception is in the world that people who commit acts of terror and who have been appropriately indicted by courts of law, by the legal process, will know that United States of America is going to do anything in its power that is legal and appropriate in order to enforce the law and to protect our security,” Mr Kerry said during an economic conference in Indonesia. – (Guardian service)