Military Turns Libyan Over to NY Courts, Ending Detention at Sea

Liby's Family Insists He's Innocent

The Justice Department has confirmed that the US military has ended its weeklong “detention at sea” for captive “suspect” Abu Anas al-Liby, and has turned him over to the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Liby was indicted by that court over a decade ago on allegations of using “an early-generation Apple computer to assemble surveillance photographs in Kenya” before the US embassy bombing in 1998.

Liby was captured by US troops earlier this month during a ground raid against the Libyan capital city of Tripoli, and they brought him by gunpoint to a US warship in the Mediterranean Sea, where he was interrogated without access to a lawyer.

Liby’s wife denied the allegations against her husband, saying they were living in London at the time of the bombing, and were under heavy surveillance by British intelligence at the time, and couldn’t possibly have participated in such a strike.

The kidnapping by military circumvented the potential extradition hearing in Libya, which would’ve allowed Liby to dispute the allegations in open court, and likewise argue that he wouldn’t receive a fair trial in the US.

If it turns out the allegations against him are indeed false, it will be particularly embarrassing for the administration to have gone to such extrajudicial means to obtain him, and they will likely continue to throw charges at him in the hopes that something, eventually, sticks.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of