Saturday, October 27, 2007

So much for the idea that we should treat terrorism as a law enforcement problem....

"Justice Department 'dismayed' over release of USS Cole bombing leader"

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. law enforcement officials Friday blasted Yemen's release of one of the leaders of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 U.S. soldiers.

"We are dismayed and deeply disappointed in the government of Yemen's decision not to imprison [Jamal al-Badawi]," said a Justice Department statement issued by the Department's National Security Division.

"We have communicated our displeasure to Yemeni officials," the statement said.

The statement pointedly referred to al-Badawi as one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists and noted prosecutors in New York City want to get their hands on him.

"He was convicted in Yemeni courts and has been indicted in the Southern District of New York," the Justice Department said. Officials said the decision is not consistent with cooperation between counterterrorism officials of the United States and Yemen.

Al-Badawi -- who had escaped prison last year -- was freed after turning himself in two weeks ago, renouncing terrorism and pledging allegiance to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, according to news reports.

Witnesses said al-Badawi was "receiving well-wishers at his home" in Aden, Yemen, according to The Associated Press in Sana, Yemen.
International terrorism cannot be treated as only a law enforcement problem. Amongst other problems, other nations will find it expedient to treat some of the most wanted terrorists with kid gloves, attempting to do the bare minimum in order to avoid international repercussions.

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