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News Link • Criminal Justice System

The Navy's Floating Prisons


Right now, a suspected terrorist is sitting in the bowels of a U.S. Navy warship somewhere between the Mediterranean Sea and Washington, D.C. Ahmed Abu Khattala, the alleged leader of the September 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, is imprisoned aboard the USS New York, likely in a bare cell normally reserved for U.S. military personnel facing disciplinary action at sea. En route to the United States for more than a week, he's being questioned by military and civilian interrogators looking for critical bits of intelligence before he's read his Miranda rights, formally arrested, and transferred to the U.S. District Court in Washington, where he'll face trial. Meanwhile, the sailors aboard are going about the daily business of operating an amphibious transport ship—even as the ship's mission has been redefined by the new passenger in their midst.

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