It's taken more than seven and a half years since the 9/11 attacks but finally someone has been sentenced in Canada for conspiracy to commit terrorism. Mohammed Momin Khawaja was convicted of helping to finance a training camp in Pakistan. However even the sentence handed down, ten and a half years, is far less than the double life plus fifty-six years prosecutors were asking for, which indicates that to an extent the judge thought the government was full of shit in a large part of their case -- which included their claim that Khawaja had prior knowledge of attempts to build fertilizer bombs in London.
My only two comments: We need to crack down on those who would do the worst harm, and stop each man or woman who would do so before he or she gets the chance. Second, it was wrong to single out Khawaja by denying him double credit for time served which would have meant only a few months more in prison -- that is something that is a grounds for appeal.
No, I don't like the idea of Khawaja walking on the streets. But what's fair is fair, and the fact he's been convicted is enough. He'll have that on his rap sheet for the rest of his life which probably makes him effectively unemployable -- almost no one will want a convicted terrorist on their payroll. However, anyone else would get credit for time served, and so should he.
But the next time there's a roundup, the government should make sure it gets all its facts straight -- otherwise, it's keystone kops all over again, while the terrorists get a chance to actually pull off another mass attack. And next time, sad to say, they will be successful -- it's just a question of when.
Last I checked, the Toronto 18 was down to 11 and the evidence against even some of the remaining is flimsy at best. And I don't think Canadians will really be satisfied, until OBL is captured by Canadians and made to stand trial for the twenty-four Canadians murdered on 9/11.
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"Second, it was wrong to single out Khawaja by denying him double credit for time served which would have meant only a few months more in prison -- that is something that is a grounds for appeal."
I think we will not be seeing anymore time and a half or double time served in sentencing anymore due to public outcry of what is perceived as being much too lenient.
Robert, You said:
" We need to crack down on those who would do the worst harm, and stop each man or woman who would do so before he or she gets the chance."
Does this mean that you are in support of the Cons wanting to bring back the highly contoversial anti-terrorism bill?
Anon, I agree with the leniency issue -- but time served is a time honoured tradition and the reason why I think it will stay on the books is because even some Cons may have some friends or family in jail and they don't want to betray them.
Penlan, no, I didn't support the measures that were sunsetted a coule of years ago and the Cons are trying to bring back. Preventative arrest and detention goes completely against the principle of habeas corpus , the fact evidence must be shown a crime has been committed.
It's entirely appropriate to bring someone in for a limited time for questioning, and to offer deals if they'll snitch on someone to stop a catastrophe -- but to arrest them first only gives them a chance to dig in until the Big Mama does happen.
Besides which, we have sufficient intelligence gathering operations -- or should have after the billions we've spent since 9/11. If the police think that's not enough, then they should be better funded.
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