Several high profile Republican senators are demanding the President detain the newly arrested “ringleader” of the Benghazi terrorist attacks at Guantanamo Bay instead of a civilian court.
Amed Abu Khattala is the first arrest made in connection with the 2012 attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
Attorney General Eric Holder says Khattala will be tried in a normal civilian court. But Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, John McCain and Lindsey Graham want President Obama to place Khattala in Guantanamo in order to gather intelligence from him, rather than place him in a military detention center in the U.S, reports Business Insider.
“Khatallah is a foreign terrorist, captured by our special forces overseas for his violent attack on a U.S. facility,” Sen. Cruz said, according to Business Insider. “He belongs in Guantanomo and in the military justice system, not in the U.S. civilian court system with the constitutional protections afforded U.S. citizens.”
The U.S. has filed a criminal complaint charging Khattala on three counts: killing someone with a firearm in an attack on a federal facility, conspiring to support terrorists resulting in death, and using a firearm in a violent crime.
Sen. Rubio said in a statement, “The Obama administration should immediately transfer him to the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay for detention and interrogation.”
Some Democrats disagree, including Sen. Patrick Leahy, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “We ALL should be proud of America’s courts — best in the world and the envy of the world — where scores of terrorists have been convicted,” he said.