GOP senators bash Holder’s decision to give civilian trial to Somali terrorist

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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At least 39 Republican senators have signed a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder ripping him for transferring a Somali-based terrorist to the United States for a civilian trial, The Daily Caller has learned.

U.S. officials transferred Somali terror suspect Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame from a Navy ship, where he was detained for the past couple of months for interrogation, to New York.

The Obama administration did not announce Warsame’s capture before transferring him to New York, where he’s now been indicted on federal charges. If they did announce Warsame’s capture before his transfer, congressional Republicans may have had an opportunity to publicly object to Holder’s decision.

In their letter to Holder objecting to the decision to give Warsame a civilian trial, the GOP senators say Warsame was an “unlawful combatant” who “wore no uniform and fought for no country. But, they say Warsame “is not an American citizen and was not captured on American soil.”

“Mr. Warsame should have been detained outside the United States and, if necessary, tried by military commission,” the GOP senators wrote.

Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk authored the letter. (Elizabeth Warren snubbed Oversight hearing for Vanity Fair interview, internal meetings)

Signing senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, wrote that Holder’s decision goes against legal precedents and grants a terrorist Constitutional rights that, normally, only American citizens enjoy.

“Your decision to grant this terrorist full U.S. Constitutional rights and to try him in a civilian court on American soil reverses U.S. policy and legal precedent, and adds unnecessary costs and risks to local governments and populations,” they wrote. “Under your decision, Mr. Warsame will be prosecuted as a civilian with considerable expense and time diverted from U.S. criminal cases. His prosecution will trigger more Jihadist attention to the city and court where the prosecution will take place.”

At the time TheDC obtained a copy of the letter and confirmation that it will be sent, 39 of the 47 Senate Republicans had signed it. The letter is still in circulation, so more Republicans may sign it.