Not all al Qaeda suspects will be held by US military: Obama

February 29, 2012

US President Barack Obama issued a policy directive on Tuesday making clear that not all al Qaeda suspects would be held in US military custody, fleshing out exceptions allowed under a sweeping defence bill that sought to have the Pentagon prosecute most suspects.

Under the directive, al Qaeda suspects arrested by US law enforcement for waging attacks against American interests would not necessarily be held by the Pentagon under several scenarios, including if foreign governments refuse to hand them over to US military control.

Other exceptions would include if the person were a US permanent legal resident or if transferring them to military custody would hurt the chances of obtaining a confession or cooperation from the terrorism suspect.

“A rigid, inflexible requirement to place suspected terrorists into military custody would undermine the national security interests of the United States, compromising our ability to collect intelligence and to incapacitate dangerous individuals,” Obama said in the directive. …

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