The Justice Department (DOJ) and the FBI are waging a questionable public relations campaign to persuade the American public that they are tough on terrorism despite mounting evidence to the contrary, says former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy. DOJ issued this April 30 press release announcing the guilty plea of Ali Saleh Kallah Al-Marri in connection with a plot to carry out a second wave of terrorist attacks against the United States after September 11. Attorney General Eric Holder took a backhanded swipe at the Bush Administration's approach to jihadist terror in announcing Al-Marri's plea, touting the result as a reflection of "what we can achieve when we have faith in our criminal justice system and are unwavering in our commitment to the values upon which the nation was founded and the rule of law."
So what exactly did Holder and the Obama Administration achieve with the Al-Marri plea? Writing at National Review Online, McCarthy analyzes the results and concludes that a dangerous terrorist is getting off very lightly:
"What was that result? What did Holder get from reversing George W. Bush's policy of detaining enemy combatants during wartime, the practice under which Al-Marri spent the last seven years in a brig? Al-Marri was permitted by the Justice Department to plead guilty to a single count of material support to terrorism, maximum sentence 15 years imprisonment with the possibility that Al-Marri may simply be given credit for time served and released."
Here are excerpts from the DOJ press release announcing Al-Marri's plea which describe his role in al Qaeda's plan to commit a second wave of mass murder in the United States following September 11:
"Al-Marri was instructed by KSM [9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] to enter the United States no later than Sept. 10, 2001. Al-Marri and his family arrived in the United States on September 10, 2001. Al-Marri conducted online research of various cyanide compounds, including hydrogen cyanide, potassium cyanide, and sodium cyanide. He reviewed toxicity levels, locations where these items could be purchased, and specific pricing of the compounds. He also explored obtaining sulfuric acid, a well-known binary agent used in a hydrogen cyanide binary device to create cyanide gas. Al- Marri believes that the government would prove at trial that this is the method taught by al Qaeda for manufacturing cyanide gas.
Al-Marri agrees that the government would prove at trial that his research into cyanide compounds is consistent with research conducted by persons trained in camps teaching advanced poisons courses to terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda. He also agrees that the government would prove at trial that an almanac recovered at his residence was bookmarked at pages showing dams, waterways and tunnels in the United States, consistent with al Qaeda attack planning regarding the use of cyanide gas."
A 15-year sentence for that kind of involvement in plots against America "grossly undersells the grave seriousness of his war crimes," McCarthy writes. He's no armchair quarterback. He prosecuted Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman for conspiring to blow up New York landmarks and assassinate political leaders.
The Obama Administration has already released – without trial, al Qaeda operative Binyam Mohamed, assigned by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to carry out further mass-murder attacks against the United States. Read more about him here.