New Rules Issued on When FBI, Not Military, Keeps Custody of Al-Qaida Suspects Arrested in US
The Obama administration outlined Tuesday when the FBI, rather than the military, could be allowed to retain custody of al-Qaida terrorism suspects who aren’t U.S. citizens but are arrested by federal law enforcement officers.
The new rules issued by the White House resulted from a December compromise in Congress between the administration and a majority of Republicans and some Democrats who wanted a bigger military role and a reduced role for civilian courts in the fight against terrorism.
The new law that emerged requires military custody for non-U.S. citizen members of al-Qaida or “associated forces” involved in planning or attempting an attack on the United States or coalition partners — unless the president waives that provision.
As expected, the rules for presidential waiver provided flexibility that wasn’t available under the initial military custody requirement.