Faisal Shahzad, the attempted Times Square bomber, was sentenced to life in prison today. He had plead guilty in June, striking no deals and remaining defiant until the end. "If you call us terrorists, we are proud terrorists," Shahzad said. "And we will keep on terrorizing you." Political observers continue to debate whether his trial was conducted in the proper venue (i.e. civilian vs. military court) and reflect on the expediency with which the case was carried out.
Good Riddance, writes Jahanzaib Haque at the International Herald Tribune:
We are talking about a man who sat in front of his computer using Internet webcam sites to monitor Times Square, trying to calculate where a bomb would be most likely to cause maximum bloodshed. A man who, on the day of his sentencing chooses his moment in the limelight to say, “the war with the Muslims has just begun”.
This same individual on his ‘noble mission’ to slaughter civilians is also guilty of ruining the lives of his wife and children permanently. They have lost a father, and they have gained a label which will haunt them forever. While the court does not count this as one of his criminal offences, I do, and for that reason I believe Shahzad deserves a life sentence and then some. Lock the gate, throw away the key, and lets all hope this will be among the last headlines we see regarding this tragedy.
- A Win for Civilian Court Proponents, writes Ben Smith at Politico: "The swift conviction and life sentence for the attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shazad looks, on its face, like a triumph for the civilian legal system's ability to try terrorists. Shahzad was arrested, read his rights, tried, convicted, and sentenced, while other terror suspects languish in the troubled military commission system. And opponents of military commissions certainly see it that way."
- The Prosecution Got Lucky, says Rep. Peter King, a proponent of the military commission system speaking to Politico: "The case worked out well. I had questions about it. There was a bit of luck involved here… If he was more sophisticated or more trained, or if he had not talked there could have been a follow-up attack, he could have been part of a larger conspiracy…It worked in this case, but to me it’s too much of a risk to take in every case."
- This Was Disturbing Regardless, writes Glynnis MacNicol at Mediaite: "Rather chilling to hear an American citizen speak about America in such terms. One of the reasons the trial was so swift was that Shahzad did not exercise his right to remain silent."
Shahzad, your 15 minutes are up, and you're going to rot in jail for the rest of your life. http://ow.ly/2OBQh
Faisal Shahzad talks a big game, but his bomb was a failure and he's going to jail for the rest of his life. http://ow.ly/2OMy8
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.