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20 Jul, 2009 10:32

US may set up special interrogation unit for terrorism suspects

The Obama administration is considering setting up a special unit that will interrogate terrorism suspects, US media reports say.

Officials say that this interrogation unit would comply with Barack Obama’s decision to ban such “enhanced interrogation techniques” as water boarding.

A source in the US government says that the unit would focus on intelligence-gathering rather than building criminal cases for prosecution.

It is thought to be an attempt to distance the White House from controversial interrogation techniques used under the Bush administration – but the nature of the new methods remains unclear.

On Tuesday the White House is expecting a recommendation on that special unit from a government task force on interrogation methods.

Some point out that it could also be a way to strip the CIA of some of its power.

Also, this week is the half-way point to the deadline when the notorious Guantanamo Bay is scheduled to be shut down – though it is still unclear whether Obama’s administration will manage to do it.