Warsame Conviction, Cooperation Demonstrates Strength of Federal Courts

New York City – Human Rights First today responded to the news, revealed by the Department of Justice late yesterday, that the Somali citizen Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame pleaded guilty in 2011 to providing material support to terrorist organizations as part of a cooperation agreement. Warsame reportedly provided the FBI important details about training, operatives and potential terrorist plots, even after he was brought to New York by the FBI.

“This is a good example of how the U.S. military and law enforcement can work together to both gain intelligence and bring to justice someone accused of participating in terrorist plots against the United States,” said Human Rights First’s Daphne Eviatar. “It demonstrates that the FBI is skilled at obtaining critical information from suspects, and that those same suspects can be charged and convicted in legitimate US federal courts if guilty. That’s a far better outcome than sending them to the black hole of Guantanamo Bay and prolonging the indefinite nightmare that place has become, not only for the detainees stuck there without charge or trial, but for U.S. foreign policy and national security.”

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Human Rights First has closely monitored the prosecution of terrorist suspects in both federal courts and at in the Guantanamo military commissions. Its report In Pursuit of Justice set forth in detail how federal courts have successfully prosecuted hundreds of terrorists since 9/11. It notes that the Justice Department has convicted nearly 500 individuals on terrorism-related charges in federal courts since the attacks. Meanwhile the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay have convicted only 7 individuals in highly questionable legal proceedings. Two of those convictions have been overturned by higher courts and four of those convicted have already been released. Nine detainees have died while imprisoned at Guantanamo without charge or trial.

The yearly cost to U.S. taxpayers to hold each captive at Guantanamo Bay is $686,747.  The average yearly cost of a federal prisoner is $30,463.


Published on March 26, 2013


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