Hey, remember all that Republican fury over the idea that terrorists could be tried in civilian courts and convicted without the world coming to an end and dogs and cats living together? Turns out, not so much. Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law was convicted in civilian court in New York, just like hundreds of others have been.
THIS morning in a New York City courtroom Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, former al-Qaeda spokesperson and Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, was found guilty of three counts: conspiring to kill Americans, conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and providing support to terrorists. The jury returned its unanimous verdict fairly quickly, on the morning of the second day of deliberation. Mr Abu Ghaith was the most prominent member of al-Qaeda to be tried in a civilian court…Mr Abu Ghaith was arrested only a year ago. This speedy verdict followed an efficient three-week trial in a Federal civilian court. Many see this as proof that civilian courtrooms are quite good at handling terrorism trials. Compare this case with the snail-like pace of the pre-trial military-commission hearings in Guantánamo Bay, where five of the surviving architects of the 9/11 attacks are being tried. Efforts to try terrorists in military tribunals have proved embarrassing.
Sentencing for Mr Abu Ghaith will take place on September 8th. Many suspect he will receive life in prison. Some speculate he will be sent to a super-max high-security prison in Colorado, where Richard Reid (the shoe bomber), Zacarias Moussaoui (a 9/11 conspirator) and a host of other al-Qaeda operatives reside.
Wait, you mean we can bring terrorists to justice without shredding the constitution? You mean Republicans throwing a fit about it were just being demagogues stirring up unjustified fear for political gain? How entirely unsurprising both of those things are.