Tags: FBI | DOJ | terror | roles

FBI, Justice Dept. Get Bigger Anti-Terror Role

Friday, 29 May 2009 08:17 AM

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WASHINGTON – The FBI and the Justice Department will play a larger role in anti-terrorist operations as part of a shift away from a reliance on the CIA and the military, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The plan to expand the role of the law enforcement agencies has been dubbed the "global justice initiative," the newspaper said, citing unidentified officials.

Under it, the Federal Bureau of Investigation would be used to conduct interrogations and gather evidence in terrorism cases.

"Regardless of where any bad guy is caught, we want the bureau to be in position to put charges on them," an official was quoted as saying.

The bigger FBI role was "part of a US policy shift that will replace a CIA-dominated system of clandestine detentions and interrogations with one built around transparent investigations and prosecutions," the report said.

Nearly eight years into the "war on terror," the Obama administration finds itself facing a conundrum over what to do with detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba who cannot be tried because evidence against them is not admissible in court.

According to the officials, the larger FBI role corresponds to a new national security policy in which terrorist suspects would have the right to challenge their detention within a "legitimate" legal framework.

On arriving at the White House, Obama ordered the closure of the Central Intelligence Agency's secret prisons overseas where "high value" detainees were subjected to harsh interrogation techniques, including a form of simulated drowning known as waterboarding.

© 2009 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

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