Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Terrorism Analyst

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Bin Laden Threatens New Attacks, Cites KSM Trial


For anyone who doubted that New York City would have a bullseye on its back if it hosted a federal trial for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, please see Osama bin Laden's new audiotape:

Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden threatened in a new audio recording released Thursday to kill any captured Americans if the U.S. executes the accused mastermind of the Sept.11 attacks or any other Al Qaeda suspects.

The U.S. is still considering whether to put Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four of his fellow plotters on military tribunal for their role in the Sept. 11 attacks. The Obama administration is also looking into recommendations for civilian trials, and is expected to announce a decision soon.

In a brief 74-second audio tape aired on Al-Jazeera television, bin Laden said if the U.S. decides to execute any Al Qaeda suspects in its custody -- and explicitly mentioned Mohammed -- his terror network would kill American captives.

The terror leader said such a decision "would mean the U.S. has issued a death sentence against whoever of you becomes a prisoner in our hands."

"Your friend at the White House is still walking in the footsteps of those before (him) in many important matters," including escalating the war in Afghanistan and "oppressing our prisoners that you are holding, beginning with the mujahid hero Khalid al Sheikh Mohammed," he added.

So we see that Al Qaeda is closely watching the developments surrounding the KSM trial, which means that wherever it takes place inside the continental U.S. will be a potential target. It's really that simple. I discussed this in a Fox News appearance recently. This has nothing to do with "being afraid" of the terrorists. It's just that, why even take the risk of holding a federal trial in a major U.S. city when you can do it in a secure, closed military faciliity offshore? Like much of the Obama administration's counterterrorism policy, the push for civilian trials for non-citizen terrorist leaders has never made sense. 

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Thursday, March 25, 2010 6:04 PM



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