Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fewer Than a Dozen Terror Convictions of Islamist Terrorists in Civilian Trials, not 190 or 300

A new study should finally put to rest the nonsense claim by President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and others in the administration that “hundreds” of terrorists akin to Khalid Sheikh Mohammad were convicted in the civilian justice system during the Bush administration. The number thrown around by the administration has varied widely from 300 to 190 to assorted spots in between. The point of quoting these figures was to make Americans think that trials of people accused of the most serious terrorism offenses, on par with the 9/11 attacks and those the other Guantanamo detainees are accused of committing, have been routine in civilian courts. So what’s the big deal?

We’ve said that this bloated number is not an apples-to-apples comparison, because it sweeps in large numbers of defendants whose crimes — such as supporting terrorism through financial or immigration fraud — are not even remotely comparable to those of the terrorists who are held at Guantanamo Bay (like KSM), or of the underwear bomber, who was caught trying to bomb an airplane as an act of war on behalf of al-Qaeda.

Well, according to, based on an analysis by New York University’s Center on Law and Security, the real apples-to-apples number of major Islamist terrorists who have been convicted in civilian courts is . . . less than a dozen, over seven years. Evidently it’s not so routine after all.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

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