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Osama unlikely to be caught alive: US
Ashish Kumar Sen writes from Washington

US Attorney-General Eric Holder on Tuesday told lawmakers it was unlikely that Osama bin Laden would be captured alive and tried in a US courthouse.

In a hearing on Capitol Hill that at times turned heated as Holder sparred with Republican lawmakers, the Attorney-General was asked by Congressman Frank Wolf how the Obama Administration would handle the Al-Qaida leader should he be captured alive. The Virginia Republican wanted to know if Laden would be tried in a civilian court - as the administration intends to do in the case of suspected 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - or by a military tribunal.

Holder described as “infinitesimal” the possibility that Bin Laden would be captured alive. “Either he will be killed by us, or he will be killed by his own people so that he is not captured by us. We know that,” he said. Comparing Laden to mass murderer Charles Manson, Holder said, “We will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden not to the Al-Qaida leader as a captive.”

Holder took exception to suggestions from Republican lawmakers that holding trials in civilian courts for terrorist suspects would afford detainees too many rights. “That's one (implication) that tends to gets my blood boiling,” Holder said in response to the suggestion. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a campaign aimed at urging President Barack Obama to stand by his plan to try terror suspects in civilian courts. “Reversing that course now due to political pressure would be a grave mistake,” ACLU warns.

Terrorists in court “have the same rights that Charles Manson would have, any other kind of mass murderer,” Holder said. “It doesn’t mean that they’re going to be coddled, it doesn't mean that they’re going to be treated with kid gloves.”

Texas Republican lawmaker John Culberson, however, took exception to Holder’s comparison of Bin Laden to Manson.



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