BROWN SAYS AIRPLANE BOMBER SHOULD BE TREATED AS ENEMY COMBATANT
U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown today said the suspected al-Qaeda terrorist accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airplane on Christmas Day should be treated as an enemy combatant and tried before a military tribunal.
“This is a hostile act of aggression against innocent American civilians. Treating it as a law enforcement matter minimizes the fact that we are at war, said Brown. “Terrorists should be interrogated by military professionals, not allowed to consult with taxpayer-funded defense lawyers in American courtrooms.
Brown and his opponent Martha Coakley have sharply disagreed over the treatment of captured terrorists. Coakley supported the Justice Department’s decision to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court in New York, while Brown said terrorists should face military justice and not be granted constitutional protections.
A 23-year-old Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was taken into custody on Dec. 25 and a criminal complaint was filed against him in federal court after he attempted to bomb a Northwest Airlines flight.
Brown said he should be immediately turned over to military authorities.
U.S. Representative Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, has also raised the possibility of treating Abdulmutallab as an enemy combatant rather than prosecuting him as a criminal.
Said Brown: “I believe that our Constitution and laws exist to protect this nation -- they do not grant rights and privileges to enemies in wartime.