Islamic terrorist's treatment exposes Obama 'rendition' hypocrisy, critics say
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Monday's announcement of a guilty plea by a Somali terrorist who was captured by the U.S. overseas offered opponents of President Barack Obama another chance to expose his hypocrisy, this time with regard to a program he and other liberal-left politicians condemned during the Bush administration: Rendition.
A Somali national who admitted he was the liaison official between al-Qaeda affiliates in Somalia and Yemen, and who later acted as a U.S. government informant and witness pleaded guilty to a number of U.S. terrorism-related charges, according to the Justice Department on Monday. The guilty plea was unsealed by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.
Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame entered a guilty plea to a nine-count indictment charging him with providing material support to Al Shabaab and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) -- two designated foreign terrorist organizations by both the State and Treasury Departments -- as well as conspiring to teach and demonstrate the making of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), possessing firearms and explosive materials, and other offenses.
Warsame originally pleaded guilty on December 21, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon in Manhattan federal court as part of a cooperation agreement with the United States. The guilty plea was kept sealed until Monday, March 25, 2013.
The 27-year-old Warsame was captured in the Gulf of Aden between Somalia and Yemen by the U.S. military on April 19, 2011, and was renditioned and questioned at a hidden location for intelligence purposes for more than two months.
The Warsame capture in essence is a case of rendition since he was held at an undisclosed location and interrogated by military and/or intelligence agents, according to former police detective and military intelligence officer Mike Snopes.
"During Barack Obama's first week as commander in chief he was quick to issue an executive order that ended the CIA’s rendition policy and use of black sites, in which the CIA operated a number of clandestine overseas prisons for terrorism suspects. Obama and other Democrats had been highly critical of the Bush administration's treatment of captured terrorists," Snopes explained.
A few months after promulgating Obama's executive order, on April 9, 2009, then CIA Director Leon Panetta stated that the CIA no longer operated detention facilities and that the black sites were closed down, according to Snopes.
"At the same time, however, the CIA was also maintaining a series of quasi-renditions in which cooperating governments maintained 'black sites' for the CIA agents to continue their interrogations," noted political strategist and attorney Michael Baker. "When news came out about Warsame's rendition, the media's silence was deafening and even the most far-left lawmakers were silent."
Following his interrogation by intelligence officers, Warsame was read his Miranda rights, and, after waiving those rights, he spoke to U.S. law enforcement agents for several days. The suspect arrived in the Southern District of New York on July 5, 2011 and was detained in a Manhattan facility.
According to the indictment, Warsame’s sworn guilty plea allocution before Judge Colleen McMahon, and other public information:
"From 2007 until April 2011, Warsame conspired with others, including American citizens, to provide material support to Al Shabaab. He fought as a soldier on behalf of Al Shabaab in Somalia in 2009 and provided other forms of support to the terrorist organization, including explosives, weapons, and training. In addition, Warsame possessed and used destructive devices, machine guns, and an AK-47 semi-automatic assault weapon in Somalia in support of Al Shabaab.
"Warsame also brokered a weapons deal, arranging for Al Shabaab to purchase weapons directly from AQAP in Yemen.
"From 2010 until April 2011, Warsame conspired to teach and demonstrate the making of explosives and instruct other terrorists and would-be terrorists how to do so. Specifically, Warsame received training in explosives directly from members of AQAP, intending to share that training with Al Shabaab when he returned to Somalia.
"Warsame was captured at sea by the U.S. in April 2011 on his way back to Somalia from Yemen."
Warsame pleaded guilty to all nine counts of the indictment with which he was charged, and he faces the possibility of life in prison.