A New York jury yesterday acquitted Ahmed Ghailani, an Al Qaeda terrorist who was part of the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. He killed 224 people. The Weekly Standard’s Thomas Joscelyn summarizes the evidence:
1. Ghailani and another al Qaeda operative “purchased the used refrigeration truck converted to a weapon of mass destruction in Tanzania.”
2. “Ghailani then obtained some of the oxygen and flammable acetylene gas tanks joined to the TNT to enhance the explosion.”
3. “Ghailani also stored electric detonators - one and a half inch, aluminum coated, PETN charged blasting caps -- in the armoire of his Dar es Salaam house. The FBI found one, along with clothing tainted with TNT residue.”
4. Ghailani gave the suicide bomber who blew himself up in Tanzania the cell phone he used in plotting the attack. The suicide bomber made calls from this phone both the night before, and the morning of, the attack.
5. The government produced “numerous witnesses” who “placed Ghailani in 1998 in the company of known al Qaeda operatives and embassy bombers, at [a] ‘safe house’ in coastal Mombasa, Kenya, at the house Ghailani shared in Dar es Salaam, and riding in utility vehicles the conspirators used to ferry supplies to their bomb making locations.”
CBS News explains that two of the men “seen with Ghailani” have already been convicted for their role in the embassy bombings and are “serving life sentences.”
6. “Ghailani fled Tanzania using a fake name and passport the day before the bombings” and “three senior al Qaeda leaders involved with the East Africa's cell were on Ghailani's flight to Karachi, Pakistan."
It is a mystery how the jury could find that these facts failed to add up to a guilty verdict on all of the murder counts. How can a terrorist be guilty of conspiring to blow up two buildings, but then be found not guilty of the ensuing deaths?
The Obama “Justice” Department said it was “pleased” with the decision.
You cannot try foreign terrorists in civilian courts designed to deal only with common criminals. Even in the best of circumstances, it doesn’t work as Andrew C. McCarthy recounted in his book “Willful Blindness” several years ago.
Ghailani will spend 20-years to life in prison. It’s not long enough.
Will President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder get the hint?
Don’t hold your breath.