GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – The American military said Monday that it will treat a captive thought to be a senior Al Qaeda leader the same as any inmate if he's sent to this remote outpost.
Also Monday, two detainees who had been on a hunger strike were force fed through a feeding tube for a second day.
"About every hour they receive the nutrients and will probably continue along that pattern for the first week," said Bell.
The man believed to be Abu Zubaydah is in U.S. custody after being captured in Pakistan. It's unclear if he'll remain there or be sent with 20 Al Qaeda suspects to this U.S. naval station. He could also be transported to a separate location.
Lt. Col. William Costello, a spokesman for the Joint Task Force mission overseeing interrogations at Guantanamo, said Zubaydah, if sent here, would be treated the same as all other prisoners.
"Everybody who gets sent to Guantanamo gets sent here for a reason," he said. "People come here to be interrogated on a more deliberate level."
Military officials on Guantanamo refused to comment on whether the man would be flown to the base on eastern Cuba.
"We don't discuss identities or nationalities of any of the detainees," mission spokesman Maj. James Bell said Monday.
The man was among 60 people arrested Thursday in Pakistan. He would be the highest-ranking leader from the Al Qaeda terrorist network to fall into American hands since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.