Somali Detainee Interrogated for Months on US Ship

Captive Accused of Ties to Al-Shabaab

A Obama Administration has announced its intention to prosecute a Somali named Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, who was captured in mid-April, on charges that he “provided support” to the al-Shabaab opposition faction in the nation.

The Justice Department termed him an “al-Shabaab leader” but does not accuse him of doing anything in particular beyond being in the organization. The real story here, however, is that since his capture Warsame has been held on a US Navy warship for interrogation.

Administration officials were light on details surrounding Warsame’s capture, saying only that US forces “somewhere in the Gulf region” caught him, but claim he has been involved with al-Shabaab since 2007, and that he months of interrogation provided “valuable information” about the group.

The issue of the legality of simply capturing someone “somewhere” and then keeping him incommunicado on a warship for months on end of interrogation is likely to come up at some point, however, even with the Obama Administration shrugging off the promises to close Guantanamo Bay.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.