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Bin Laden Son-in-law on Trial

Osama bin Laden's son in law is in New York City today, receiving his time in a U.S. Federal court after recently being captured in Jordan and accused of conspiracy to kill Americans. The terrorist Abu Ghaith pleaded not guilty this morning on charges of conspiracy to kill Americans. He is now the closest relative to Osama bin Laden to face trial in an American court.

If you will recall, the idea of bringing enemy combatants to New York City to stand trial has been debated before. In 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder decided that the trial for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) would also be held in New York City. There was backlash from many parties, particularly politicians and businesses in Manhattan who were concerned about the security threat this posed, as well as the security costs necessary to protect New Yorkers and those involved in the trail.

Beyond that, the bigger debate arises again over the issue of affording terrorists the protections of our Constitution and Bill of Rights by bringing them to trial within the U.S. court system. Why not send Abu Ghaith to Guantanamo Bay (since it is still open) and put him through a military trial? In this case, I agree with Senator Lindsey Graham who asks, "Why in the world are we treating him as if he's a common criminal? And why in the world is he not at Guantanamo Bay?" He's absolutely right, and the fact that the Obama administration essentially sneaked Abu Ghaith into New York for this trial shows that they know how upsetting this will be to many Americans.







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