Ayotte: Obama Admin Has No Plan for Long-Term Detention of Terrorists
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) argued on Happening Now today that the recent capture of an ISIS operative highlights the need for the United States to have a long-term detention facility for terrorists.
Just weeks after President Obama announced his plan to close Guantanamo Bay, Ayotte criticized the administration for having no plan in place to hold terror suspects for long periods of time.
Iraqi officials identified the captured terrorist as Sleiman Daoud al-Afari, who worked for Saddam Hussein's Military Industrialization Authority, where he specialized in chemical and biological weapons.
The New York Times reported:
Defense officials said that Mr. al-Afari, described by the military as a “significant” Islamic State operative who was captured a month ago by commandos in an elite American Special Operations force, has, under interrogation, provided his captors with details about how the group had weaponized mustard gas into powdered form and loaded it into artillery shells.
One Defense official said that it was not concentrated enough to kill anyone, but that it could maim people.
Defense Department officials insist that the United States has no plans to hold the detainee or any other captives indefinitely, and that they will be handed over to the Iraqi and Kurdish authorities after they have been interviewed.
At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Ayotte asked a U.S. general if there is a plan is for holding captured terrorists long-term.
"I don't know that. That is a policy decision that, I think, is being debated," said Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command.
Ayotte told Jenna Lee today that it took years to gather the intelligence necessary to find Usama bin Laden.
She argued that al-Afari should be held long-term by the U.S., not turned over to the Kurds, so that he can be interrogated over a long period of time.
Ayotte said the intelligence could then be compared to what U.S. forces learn from additional ISIS terrorists that are captured.
"The president says we're gonna deal with this on a case-by-case basis. That is not a plan," she said, adding, "I'm concerned this makes us less safe."
Watch the full interview above.