In a terrorism trial held in a federal District Court in Manhattan, Faisal Shahzad, who attempted to set off a bomb in Times Square, was sentenced to life in prison for the crime. He did not get “a platform to express his hideous ideology,” nor was his trial either a target for global terrorism or a recruiting poster for Al Qaeda. It was just a trial, a perfectly ordinary trial where evidence was presented and the judge reached a fairly swift verdict.
Mind you, Shahzad certainly tried to use his sentencing to express his views, but I think the net effect of that in the Muslim world will be absolutely nothing.
Faisal Shahzad, who pleaded guilty to trying to blow up a sport utility vehicle carrying a homemade bomb in May in Times Square, thick with Saturday visitors, was sentenced on Tuesday morning to spend the rest of his life in prison. Remaining defiant, and smirking as the sentence was read, he told the court: “Brace yourselves, because the war with Muslims has just begun.”
He later continued: “The defeat of the U.S. is imminent and will happen in the near future.”
Now Shahzad will enter prison for the rest of his life, never to be heard from again. That’s a proper law enforcement response to attempted murder, and it can just as easily be done with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as it was with Faisal Shahzad. KSM planned to plead not guilty, but his words about the US government would get printed in the paper, just as Shahzad’s did, and not broadcast to the entire world. The Shahzad case proves pretty definitively that a law enforcement approach to terrorism can work, and the legal system is more than equipped to handle the cases.
UPDATE: I’m pleased that the Administration is crowing about this.