The Corner

New York Terror Trial Follies

No one yet knows for sure who is responsible for the attempted terrorist attack in Times Square last night. It could be al-Qaeda or some other Islamist terrorist group, or some other group, or an individual acting on his or her own. Initial reports are that it may have been a crude bomb and a relatively amateur attack. Of course, homicide bombers are not known for their smarts, nor is the technology they use particularly sophisticated in most cases. But don’t be fooled by claims in the press that this was an amateur attack. Whoever tried to kill innocents in midtown Manhattan last night knew exactly what they were doing. They targeted Times Square in Manhattan not as a random act, but as a message that Americans remain vulnerable to indiscriminate murder for fanatical religious or political reasons, and that our most significant landmarks are not safe from attack. Whoever did this, we can be sure, is in league with the underwear bomber, Major Hasan, and other terrorists either in fact or in spirit.

This is a sobering message to all of us. And it should remind us that the federal officials who continue to insist that New York City is the best place to try KSM and other 9/11 terrorists are, frankly, out of their minds. Attorney General Eric Holder remains delusional on this front, as he has continued to say that a civilian trial in New York remains on the table, despite the uniform protest of all major New York public officials from the mayor to the police chief to the governor.

New York is the world’s number-one terrorist target, and has been since at least he first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Those who claim, in spite of all logic and experience, that New York could be secured if KSM were brought there for trial are either being misleading or are plain old crazy. The only way to do this effectively would be to shut down the city, which would paralyze New York and cause terrible damage to its efforts to recover from the recession.

New Yorkers, it’s time for you to demand that the administration come to its senses and officially shut down the civilian terror trial in NYC. GTMO is by far the safest and best location for trying KSM and his cohorts. Let’s not make New York more of a target than it already is by bringing KSM and his hate to New York, where he will have the world’s biggest platform to rally his fellow lunatics and jihadists to his cause.

The only reason to try KSM in New York is to vindicate a misguided political agenda by people that have staked their personal reputations on having a civilian trial in New York, ostensibly to show the world that our justice system is fair. But it has never been clear to us who they are trying to convince. For all of its flaws, our justice system and Constitution remain the envy of the world — at least the part of the world that believes in freedom and individual rights. If they think that a civilian trial will turn our enemies into our friends, well, there’s really not much to talk about. Of course, the attorney general and the White House have undermined even that goal by guaranteeing KSM’s conviction and execution, which violates the core principles of a fair trial.

It’s time to shut down this folly. New Yorkers have enough to worry about without politicians in Washington making them even bigger targets.

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