A Platform for TerroristsProfessor Annemarie McAvoy on Fox News, November 23, 2009
It is amazing that the Obama administration can continue to be so blind to the fact that the terror trials in New York will be used as a forum to spread hatred for the U.S. around the world. Don't they recognize that these trials may spur further attacks against us? Even one of the lawyers for the five 9/11 terror suspects Scott Fenstermaker, has publicly stated that the trials will be used by the terrorist to verbally attack the U.S. and its policies. Why doesn't Attorney General Eric Holder do the right thing here and send this case back to a military tribunal where it belongs?
We now have heard from Fenstermaker about the terrorists' plans. They will plead "not guilty" -- even though they do not intend to deny their involvement in the attack. They will use this as an opportunity to explain what they have done, and why, and to attack the U.S. further -- this time with words.
The problem is not only the immediate threat to our security that having these guys in New York City poses. There is a longer term threat to our safety. These terrorists will be using this trial as a chance to try to recruit more followers to their radical views and to act out against the United States and our interests.
Just think for a second about how careful media outlets have been about playing tapes from Usama bin Laden and others -- using caution in case there could be secret messages hidden in them that could lead to threatening actions by terrorists. In court, there won't be a chance to intercept any potential messages these terrorists may be sending to their compatriots. Instead, whatever they say will be broadcast, instantly, all over the world. Why does it seem that the Obama administration is more interested in allowing these terrorists to speak out than in protecting the citizens of the United States?
Annemarie McAvoy is a former federal prosecutor. She currently is a consultant. She teaches Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing at Fordham Law School in New York City.