WASHINGTON — Officials say newly enacted legislation that gives the military a bigger role in fighting terrorism raises questions that will complicate and could harm the investigation of terrorism cases.
It was an uphill battle against Republicans and some Democrats, but the Obama administration succeeded in retaining the right to investigate and try suspected terrorists in civilian courts.
Under heavy pressure from the administration, lawmakers removed a provision that would have eliminated executive branch authority to use civilian courts for trying terrorism cases against foreign nationals.
But administration officials say other provisions that did survive leave open some questions about how to handle terrorism investigations, particularly how FBI agents will do their work when some suspects may be in military custody.
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