Checking in on the Downtown Terror Trial

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Update 11am Wednesday: The jury has convicted Abu Ghaith. He could face life in prison on charges of conspiracy and aiding al Qaeda.

The trial of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, accused of working to recruit for al Qaeda after 9/11, is a test of how civilian courts can take on terrorism cases. Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham and Charles Levinson, Wall Street Journal reporter covering the trial discuss the latest developments.


Karen Greenberg and Charles Levinson

Comments [17]

In the wake of BHO’s global spotlight comment that the number one threat to American security is a terrorist nuclear bomb being detonated in Manhattan, will the Brian Lehrer show follow up with an analysis of why terrorists have repeatedly chosen to target Manhattan rather than D.C.?

Given that the actions that non-state enemies of America point to as attacks on their world justifying their retaliatory terrorism against us--such as, according to OBL, U. S. supplying war materiel to Israel, stationing troops in Saudi, and invading Iraq and Afghanistan--have been made in D.C., why target NYC?

What do BLS and WNYC listeners think explains NYC being made the prime target? And what can we do to change that status? Trying to take the nuclear bullseye off our back is worth some thought, no?

Mar. 26 2014 05:08 PM

The US should announce that if the US is hit by a nuclear bomb, Mecca will be obliterated in retaliation - for starters.

Mar. 26 2014 12:02 PM

Strange -- why is the same commenters here, day after day, just love to punish the wicked, but never consider that according to most people in the world, they themselves are the wicked, and that if there was as little justice for them as they advocate for others, under international law, they'd be in big trouble?

Then again, arm-chair warriors who want to string everyone up, including liberals, probably don't get out of the house very often. So unless commenting becomes a crime -- which isn't so far-fetched, in the U.S. -- you're safe.

Mar. 26 2014 10:38 AM

Vengence is not pretty, and frowned upon in both religous and secular scripture.

they are civilians and thus civilian court is the right place to try them.

Obama's comments are so much smarter than commenters here. if you don't think there was a message being sent, you're thinking on the surface.

Manhattan over DC is easy. One has already been attacked several times and still have security lapses.

Mar. 26 2014 10:38 AM
Chris from Queens

That this "trial" is a "test" of whether the justice system can "handle" these charges is rather a naked admission that the United States has no interest in justice in this matter. It is a foregone conclusion that vengeance is justified. Our nation is now seeking a fig leaf to dress up its sword.

Mar. 26 2014 10:34 AM
Amy from Manhattan

No one should be either convicted or acquitted to "send a message." The jury's decision should be made on the basis of the evidence & the law.

Mar. 26 2014 10:28 AM
khadija Boyd from Brooklyn

my 2 cents: paraphrasing song by Blondie:
one way, or the other, I'm gonna get you!


Mar. 26 2014 10:25 AM
Al from Eastchester

Uncontrolled thinking, controlled by Osama bin Laden, Yes they can go backwards and forwards at the same time, at the terrorism trial of Sulaiman abu Ghaith. This case could bring some satisfaction to the families who have yet to see anyone stand trial in the US for the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mar. 26 2014 10:23 AM
Lenore from Manhattan

Bravo to the caller who highlighted the monstrosities going on in Guantanamo.

Mar. 26 2014 10:21 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Robert, I respectfully disagree. People get complacent or distracted by a fading hyper-power in Russia. Do not hate a politician for telling you the truth once in a while.

Terrorism is and will be our #1 threat for a while.

Mar. 26 2014 10:21 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Terrorists should be tried as illegal combatants by military tribunals, not by civilian courts. Period. Civil courts should be strictly for civilian criminal matters.

Mar. 26 2014 10:20 AM

Why does BHO postulate nuclear bomb in Manhattan rather than in D.C.?

What makes us the prime target?

Mar. 26 2014 10:12 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Hopefully - This country will do the decent thing and everyone at Guantanamo will get a trial soon.

Mar. 26 2014 10:12 AM
Robert from NYC

That was so irresponsible of the president to make that remark about NYC. He gets dumber and dumber as time goes by. He daily makes confirms my decision not to vote for him in a second term. (DISCLAIMER- I also did not vote for any republican, I'm not a total idiot! I just didn't vote.) Anyway, now all the nervous NYC Nellies are running around thinking that we're going to be bombed. Go ahead, feed FOX news! But thank goodness the previous militaristic regime is no longer ruling or they'd be sure to jump on the bandwagon with this to confirm their strong arm tactics.
And no matter the context, OhBummer was wrong to say what he said about NYC being bombed.

Mar. 26 2014 10:11 AM
Jay from Manhattan

Re on air question: Obama was at a nuclear security meeting when he made the comment about a bomb going off in Manhattan. (He was asked only questions by press about Russia, though, none about nuclear security.)

Mar. 26 2014 10:09 AM
SL from New York, New York

President Obama has a point. The trade tower was entered into 2 times within 6 months by adventure seekers. Why isn't anyone outraged that the security around this site is beyond laughable. Come on!

Mar. 26 2014 10:06 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Unproductive but satisfying comment:
String his terrorist a$$ up!!

Thank you, that is all.

Mar. 26 2014 10:05 AM

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