Criminal Law: Substantive

A Successful Conclusion to the Warsame Experiment?

By Robert Chesney
Monday, March 25, 2013, 4:21 PM

The Ahmed Warsame case (Warsame is the al Shabaab member captured by US forces while attempting to return to Somalia after a period of training with AQAP in Yemen, who was then held for two months in military detention at sea undergoing interrogation and then later transferred to face criminal prosecution in NYC) is a fine example of the way in which the executive branch can, in the right circumstances, blend its military and law enforcement authorities to achieve a good balance between the interests of short-term intelligence-gathering and long-term incapacitation.  Or so it seems so long as the prosecution unfolds well, which it certainly seemed to be doing in this instance.  Indeed, it appeared previously that Warsame likely was cooperating as a potential witness in other al Shabaab-related cases, and that a plea deal with him was likely to follow.  Now it has.  Nicely done.