Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) responded to the recent revelation that the Obama Administration has decided to try a Somali pirate, Ahmed Abdulkadir, who has known ties to two terrorist organizations -- including al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, from whom Abdulkadir received military training -- in a civilian court.
"President Obama -- the same President who promised to close Guantanamo Bay when it was politically expedient, then refused to fully close Guantanamo Bay when that was politically expedient -- has once again demonstrated his 'shotgun blast' approach to foreign policy, in which he haphazardly tries anything that might appeal to his political base, meanwhile hoping something will end up actually working.
"Though the President has frequently derided President Bush's detainment of terrorists outside the American judicial system, President Obama did just that in dealing with Mr. Abdulkadir, detaining him for two months before flying him to New York for a civilian trial -- an inconsistent, 'piecemeal' approach to decision-making that is the antithesis of strong leadership.
"Trying a terrorist in a civilian court is as bad an idea now as it was when the Administration attempted it in 2009 with 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Military tribunals exist specifically to handle such cases, without giving terrorists a public spotlight from which to spread their hatred."
The risky nature of conducting a terrorist trial on American soil was demonstrated after the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, when, during the trial of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the prosecution had to share with the defense a list of co-conspirators that ended up in Osama bin Laden's possession days later.