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But Mr. Inhofe said any medical issues could have been dealt with at Guantanamo Bay, the special detention camp built for terrorist suspects by the Bush administration and sited in Cuba to be beyond the reach of U.S. courts.

“I do not know of any reason why Guantanamo Bay’s detainee medical facility, which is widely credited with providing excellent care to detainees, or the base’s hospital, could not adequately treat al-Libi’s condition,” he said.

Being detained under the law of war, “he could be held for the duration of hostilities, his interrogation could continue, and [he could] still stand trial,” he added.

Last year, a U.S. government study of al Qaeda in Libya identified al-Libi as “most likely involved in al Qaeda strategic planning … and coordination between [the group’s senior leaders] and Libyan Islamist militias who adhere to al Qaeda’s ideology.”

His family have told reporters from international news outlets that he was retired from al Qaeda and was living openly in Tripoli.

His interrogation was carried out by the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, set up in 2009 to bring together “interrogators and support personnel from across” U.S. defense, intelligence and law enforcement agencies, according to the Justice Department.

The group deploys mobile teams of experienced interrogators, analysts, subject matter experts and linguists to conduct interrogations.