After the U.S. Army’s elite Delta Force snatched a long-wanted al Qaeda suspect off the streets of Tripoli Saturday, the accused terrorist was hustled to transport and eventually ended up on the USS San Antonio, a Navy amphibious ship, according to military officials.
It’s unclear how long the suspect, Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, better known as Anas al-Libi, will be held there before he’s expected to be taken to New York to face terrorism-related charges, but in the last high-profile case of this kind, a member of the Somalia terror group al-Shabab was secretly held on a Navy ship for two months, during which time he was interrogated by the U.S. government’s High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group. The HIG, created in 2009 for situations similar to Warsame’s and al-Libi’s, is comprised of some of the government’s best “interrogators, analysts, subject matter experts and linguists” from the FBI, CIA and other members of the intelligence community, according to the Department of Justice.
Just a few months before al-Libi’s arrival, the Navy gave the world a close-up, if bizarre look inside the amphibious ship that is now the suspected terrorist’s temporary home.
Back in May, Marine Lance Cpl. Juan Owings shot video of a speedy first-person tour through much of the 684-foot-long ship, set to a thumping techno beat. The three-and-a-half minute video takes viewers through the claustrophobic hallways, through the mess hall, past lounging sailors and Marines, into the workout areas and then up to the ship’s deck.
Somewhere in there, behind one of those thick metal doors, U.S. interrogators now are thought to be doing, or preparing to do, what they legally can to get al-Libi to talk, to reveal whatever he may know about al Qaeda’s high-ranking members and any upcoming deadly plots.
ABC News’ Luis Martinez contributed to this report.