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Senate begins work on sweeping defense bill; fight looms over terror suspects
WASHINGTON (AP) ' The Senate is starting work on a sweeping, $662 billion defense bill with a fight looming over the handling of terrorist suspects.
The bill would require military custody of a suspect deemed a member of al-Qaida or its affiliates and involved in plotting or committing attacks on the United States. The Obama administration argues that military custody would hamper the FBI and other law enforcement agencies seeking intelligence from terror suspects.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said he has significant concerns with the provision but stopped short of threatening a veto.
Panetta met privately with a few senators on Capitol Hill Thursday morning to discuss parts of the bill.