Washington: United States has made
operational a new special investigation team which has begun
interrogating high value terror targets within the country and
abroad, as part of new moves to head off violent strikes on
The elite team of investigators from the FBI, CIA and
Defence Intelligence has been set up to question terror
suspects soon after their arrests to track down the terror
threads and unravel terrorists conspiracies, the Washington
"The high-value detainee interrogation group (HIG) has
been at work for the past few months," the Post quoted White
House terrorism adviser, John Brennan as saying.
The group, the paper said, is part of new elite
terrorism-interrogation programme intended to replace a CIA
project that became mired in controversy over the use of harsh
tactics that administration officials called torture.
While the team of specialists has been constituted
mainly to join investigations of terror kingpins held abroad
in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Yemen and Far
East, the Post said the administration would use them for
cracking cases like Christmas bomb plot.
As its pilot case, the new team was involved in
questioning the Pakistani-born American citizen Faisal
"Initial plans were to use the teams for overseas
investigation. But the administration now wants to use them to
crack major terror suspects at home," the media reports said.
The approval for setting up of an HIG was given by the
Obama administration and the Washington Post said White House
was furious when it found that the group had not been
constituted in time to interrogate the Christmas Day bombing
suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
The new team is run by FBI and has several mobile
groups staffed by experts including linguists, terror analysts
and professional interrogators.
The HIG has been constituted to question high-value
terror targets like world`s most wanted terrorist Osama bin
Laden, his equally elusive deputy Ayman al Zawahiri, and
Taliban chief Mulla Omar and others.
The HIG teams would also be deployed on case-by-case
basis overseas if the suspects were held by willing US ally,
the Post said.