WASHINGTON -- A Somali militant linked to Al Qaeda in both Somalia and Yemen was captured in April and held for two months on a U.S. Navy ship while being interrogated, Obama administration officials said Tuesday.
The case is the first known example of the Obama administration secretly holding and questioning a terror suspect. It also sheds light on growing concerns about links between extremists in Somalia and Yemen, two of the world's poorest, least stable countries.
Administration officials revealed the case Tuesday after an indictment against the man, Ahmed Warsame, was unsealed in federal court in New York. The indictment charges Warsame with providing support to a terrorist organization.
Officials said Warsame's interrogation was conducted "humanely" and under the rules of the U.S. Army Field Manual, which strictly limits the types of interrogation techniques that can be used. During the interrogation, Warsame provided considerable information about activities in Yemen, the officials said. He was questioned by members of the High Value Interrogation Group, a unit made up of FBI, CIA and Defense Department personnel, said senior administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
After two months at sea, Warsame was read his Miranda rights and transferred to FBI custody, officials said. He waived his right to a lawyer and continued talking. The information gleaned in the military interrogation was not used against him in the FBI questioning, which formed the basis of the nine-count indictment charging him with material support to Al Qaeda groups in both Somalia and Yemen.