House Intelligence Chair Mike Rogers strongly criticized the Obama administration for reportedly bringing suspected terrorist, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law Suleiman Abu Ghaith, to the United States.
Rogers, a Republican, declined to confirm that Abu Ghaith had been rendered to the U.S. But NBC News confirmed with Jordanian sources that Turkey sent Abu Ghaith to Kuwait via Jordan, where he was intercepted and brought to New York City. He will appear in court Friday.
“I am very concerned, just as I was in the past, about taking an al-Qaida member off the battlefield in foreign soil and Mirandizing them and bringing them back to the United States,” Rogers said on Andrea Mitchell Reports Thursday. “I am very concerned about that precedent and what that means moving forward on the war on terror.”
Rogers, a former FBI agent, said that Mirandizing a top al-Qaida suspect and bringing him to the U.S. for trial creates a host of problems. Rogers argued that the prison at Guantanamo Bay was better-equipped to handle high value prisoners. The Obama administration has been making efforts to close Guantanamo and has pledged not bring any new prisoners there.
“I think a trial on American soil could be a difficult thing for any al-Qaida member that they might be considering bringing back from overseas,” Rogers said. He added that taking Abu Ghaith to Guantanamo Bay “makes the most logical sense” in that “we’ve invested a lot of U.S. taxpayer dollars getting that facility right and in the right positioning to handle that kind of high-risk, high-threat al-Qaida prisoner.
Rogers had been briefed on Abu Ghaith’s whereabouts and could not comment on the classified actions, which the CIA also would not confirm took place. First word of the operation came from Homeland Security chair, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who issued a statement praising the CIA and FBI for a joint operation to capture Abu Ghaith.
Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte, a former Attorney General from New Hampshire, joined Rogers in criticizing the Obama administration’s decision to bring the suspect to the U.S. Senate and House Democrats have remained largely silent on the capture.