WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bella the Chihuahua, the tiny dog who brought big fears to the Mexican countryside during her 2006 reign of terror, has been ordered held indefinitely without trial at a high-security military brig, sources said Thursday.
One military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the dog was deemed too much of a threat to be allowed in the conventional criminal justice system.
"We are in a war on terror," the official said, "and this dog personifies terror."
Rights groups have traditionally condemned such indefinite detentions and suspensions of habeas corpus. But in this instance, they were largely silent.
One lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, who asked to remain anonymous, said his group understood the government's position in holding the highly dangerous, shriek-prone Chihuahua.
"Clearly, she is a menace to all within earshot," he said.