WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) issued the following statement concerning the conviction of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani on one count of conspiracy in the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania:
“While I am relieved Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani has been convicted for his role in the 1998 terrorist bombings that killed over 200 people at U.S. embassies in Africa, I am deeply concerned that the Department of Justice (DOJ) could only secure a conviction on 1 of the 285 counts Mr. Ghailani faced.
In November 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee that ‘failure is not an option’ when trying accused terrorists in civilian courts. He later explained, ‘these cases have to be won’.
In winning the Ghailani case by the slimmest of margins, federal prosecutors have failed to secure the American public’s confidence that additional terrorist suspects the Obama Administration hopes to try in civilian courts will be convicted for their crimes.
I again call on President Obama and Attorney General Holder to abandon their hasty efforts to bring accused terrorists, including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, to trial in federal civilian courts. Instead, these dangerous individuals must be tried as enemy belligerents in military commissions at the terrorist detention facility in Guantanamo.”