Washington: The secret detention abroad a US ship of an alleged Somalian terrorist, linked to al-Qaeda was lawful under the law of the war, the White House has said, a day after he was indicted by a court.
"(Ahmed Abdulkadir) Warsame, a Somali national who was a member of al- Shabaab and has close associations with al- Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP, was captured by US military forces in the Gulf region and taken into custody based on information developed regarding his links to terrorist groups," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
"He was detained lawfully under the law of war aboard a US Navy ship until his transfer to the US for prosecution," Carney told reporters during an off-camera gaggle when asked about the Somalian arrest on April 19.
He was indicted on Wednesday in a New York court on charges of providing material support to Shebab and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
"The International Committee of the Red Cross was told of Warsame's detention on the ship, visited the site of detention, and had the opportunity, rather, to interview the detainee aboard the ship," Carney said.
"As you know, wherever possible our first priority is and always has been to apprehend terrorist suspects and to preserve the opportunity to elicit valuable intelligence that can help us protect the American people.
In this case, the government has been able to acquire very valuable intelligence from this operation," the White House Press Secretary said.
Warsame, a Somali national in his mid-twenties, was captured in the Gulf region by the US military on April 19, and was questioned for intelligence purposes for more than two months; the Justice Department said Tuesday.
Thereafter, Warsame was read his Miranda rights, and after waiving those rights, he spoke to law enforcement agents for several days.
Warsame arrived in the Southern District of New York Tuesday morning, and was arraigned before US District Judge Colleen McMahon in Manhattan federal court earlier on Thursday.