On the January 4 edition of Fox & Friends, Steve Doocy claimed that the decision to try Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is alleged to have attempted to set off a bomb on a Northwest Airlines flight, in civilian court, rather than holding Abdulmutallab as an “enemy combatant,” “takes us back to the days of the Clinton administration, when things like this were treated as a law enforcement issue, and not as a national security issue.” In fact, the Bush administration also tried and convicted several terrorism suspects in civilian court.
From the January 4 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
DOOCY: This takes us back to the days of the Clinton administration, when things like this were treated as a law enforcement issue, and not as a national security issue.
BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): But in honesty, the shoe-bomber, same thing. But we were in the middle, at that time, in the war in Afghanistan, we put him in a criminal trial. He said, “I'm guilty, leave me, I'm not talking any more, that's it.” But, that was a mistake.
Bush administration also tried other terrorism suspects in civilian courts, in addition to Reid
Zacarias Moussaoui plead guilty and was imprisoned through federal justice system. Moussaoui was charged in civilian court and was sentenced by a jury for his role in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. As The New York Times reported, after Moussaoui plead guilty, the jury voted “to send him to prison for the rest of his days rather than condemn him to death for the carnage of Sept. 11, 2001.” Moussaoui is serving his sentence at the ADX Florence prison, commonly referred to as Supermax, in Florence, Colorado.
John Walker Lindh serving sentence in Indiana. As CNN.com reported, on October 4, 2002, “Walker Lindh, the so-called 'Taliban American,' told U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III that he 'made a mistake by joining the Taliban' and 'had I realized then what I know now about the Taliban I would never have joined them,' ” before being sentenced for his crimes. CNN.com reported that in July, Lindh pleaded “guilty to one count of supplying services to the Taliban and a criminal charge that he carried a rifle and two hand grenades while fighting on the Taliban's front lines in Afghanistan against the Northern Alliance.” Lindh was once held at the Supermax facility and is now being held at the Federal Correctional Institute in Terre Haute, Indiana.
East African embassy bombing perpetrators were tried in U.S. and held at Supermax. As the National Security Network has noted, “Wahid el-Hage, Mohammed Sadiq Odeh, Mohammed Rashed al-Owhali, and Khalfan Khamis Mohammed are all serving in ADX Florence.” The New York Times reported that the four men, who were “convicted of conspiring with Osama bin Laden in the 1998 bombings of two American Embassies in Africa,” were “moved to the most secure federal prison in the United States.” The men were indicted in 1998 under the Clinton administration and tried, convicted, and sentenced in 2001.
Hundreds of other terrorists are already imprisoned in the U.S.
There are already more than 350 terrorists in U.S. prisons. A May 29 Slate.com article reported that according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, “federal facilities on American soil currently house 216 international terrorists and 139 domestic terrorists. Some of these miscreants have been locked up here since the early 1990s. None of them has escaped. At the most secure prisons, nobody has ever escaped.”
Colorado federal Supermax prison “holds some of the country's most infamous prisoners.” From an October 4 Washington Post article:
The 490-bed prison, formally known as the Administrative Maximum Facility, holds some of the country's most infamous prisoners, including Mohammed's nephew Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center; the Unabomber, Theodore J. Kaczynski; FBI agent-turned-Soviet mole Robert P. Hanssen; and Terry L. Nichols, who was convicted in the 1995 bombing of an Oklahoma City federal building. Thirty-three international terrorists are held there.
Former Navy lawyer: “There is no increased threat posed to the United States by bringing some of the detainees to the U.S. for trial.” In an October 29 NPR interview, Charles Swift, an attorney who took the case of a Guantánamo detainee to the Supreme Court in 2006, said that "[a]nyone knowledgeable about al-Qaida operations will tell you that there is no increased threat posed to the United States by bringing some of the detainees to the U.S. for trial." Swift added that "[Suspected terrorists] Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, Yaser Esam Hamdi and Jose Padilla were held and, in Hamdi and al-Marri's case, eventually tried in the United States without any consequence."