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McCain, Graham, Ayotte Statement on Sulaiman Abu Ghayth

Mar 8, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) released the following statement regarding the Administration's decision to bring alleged al Qaeda member Sulaiman Abu Ghayth to the United States for trial in civilian court:

"We are disturbed by the Administration's decision to bring Sulaiman Abu Ghayth-a foreign member of al Qaeda charged with conspiring to kill Americans - to New York for trial in federal court. The Obama Administration's lack of a war-time detention policy for foreign members of al Qaeda, as well as its refusal to detain and interrogate these individuals at Guantanamo, makes our nation less safe.

"We are at war with al Qaeda and its affiliated groups, and America's detention policy must reflect that reality.

"Military detention for enemy combatants has been the rule, not the exception. By processing terrorists like Sulaiman Abu Ghayth through civilian courts, the Administration risks missing important opportunities to gather intelligence to prevent future attacks and save lives.

"A foreign member of al Qaeda should never be treated like a common criminal and should never hear the words "you have a right to remain silent."

"Abu Ghayth's capture and decision to try him in civilian court raises several questions. For example, did U.S. officials properly interrogate Abu Ghayth before he was read his Miranda rights? If so, for how long? Given the fact that the U.S. required repeated interrogations of detainees in law of war custody over many years in order to find bin Laden, why would the Administration believe that a few hours or days of interrogation of someone so close to bin Laden would be sufficient?

"The American people and their representatives in Congress have been clear that they do not want foreign members of al Qaeda brought to the United States. The Obama Administration's decision to try Abu Ghayth in a New York district court clearly contravenes the will of the American people. This decision by the Obama Administration will not go unchallenged."


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