Holder Inks Criminal Justice/Counterterrorism Deal With Algeria
It might not be the best day to trumpet the rule of law over U.S. counterterrorism efforts, but Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department has reached a deal with Algeria for mutual criminal justice assistance. The deal will allow the the U.S. and Algeria to “obtain testimonies and statements; retrieve evidence, including bank and business records; provide information and records from governmental departments or agencies; and provide a means of inviting individuals to testify in a requesting country.” As Algeria hosts its own very unwelcome al-Qaeda affiliate, the additional tools aid the Justice Department’s monitoring and pursuit of individuals and money in Algeria that might threaten U.S. interests.
They also allow Holder an additional opportunity to entrench the Justice Department’s role in counterterrorism ahead of a potential presidential decision to abandon a criminal trial for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and move the 9/11 architect back into the military commissions system for trial. Holder:
“The proliferation of both terrorism and traditional criminal acts across national borders makes international cooperation essential to bringing to justice those who threaten our safety and security,” said Attorney General Holder. “Algeria is an important partner in the fight against terrorism and transnational crime. This treaty will help us ensure that terrorists and other criminals are not able to avoid justice by simply hiding evidence beyond our borders.”