On February 11, 2018, we reported that two arch terrorists responsible for beheading at least 27 hostages — including American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff — and hideously torturing many more were captured by Kurdish forces in Syria. The two were named as Alexanda Kotey, 34, and El Shafee Elsheikh, 29. They were were part of a notorious four-person cell comprised of British jihadis, all from London, who were dubbed the “Beatles.”
The ringleader of the cell was Mohammed Emwazi, known as “Jihadi John” before his real identity was known, who first appeared in the beheading video of Foley. He was killed by a drone strike in Raqqa, Syria in 2015. Another member of the cell, Aine Davis, is in jail in Turkey facing terror charges.
Now the question remains how to bring the remaining two to justice. We presented the pros and cons of sending them to the U.S.’ detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo) versus bringing them to the U.S. to stand trial in a criminal court.
We then asked our readers for their opinion. Here are the results of our poll (comments follow):
When asked what should the U.S. do with foreign terrorists accused of attacking Americans:
They engaged in the murder of US (and other) civilians in the furtherance of terror. Our adherence to the rule of law is one of the hallmarks of democracy. ISIS, et. al. act in the hope that they can weaken our grip on the law on our society. This is then used to recruit new jihadis and to advance a theocratic narrative (e.g., the supremacy of their flawed version of sharia over man-made law). We should have faith in our institutions and demonstrate our society’s strength in truly meaningful ways. For once, Foggy Bottom is correct. Bring them here for trial.
They are not U.S. citizens, therefore they cannot claim a citizen’s right to a U.S. trial, they are militant combatants which is what Gitmo was built for.
Even if it’s shorter time in U.S. criminal courts, better to bring them take Gitmo where it is clear that they are not individual criminals [but part of our fight against Islamist terror].
They should never be afforded the rights under our constitution. They should be held as enemy combatants and sent to Guantanamo Bay. Truthfully, they shouldn’t even go there but be given exactly what they did to many others.
They should not be brought to the U.S. where they will be seen to have constitutional rights. They do have rights as humans but should be tried under rules of war.
The military court in Guantanamo should be given a timeline for prosecution. Fix whatever problem [is stopping] speedy trials.
Do neither and bring them to justice in the countries where they committed their crimes.
Public trials in U.S. criminal courts will avoid conflict with an important ally, possible political maneuvering by the terrorists’ lawyers, as well as show other would-be terrorists there are consequences for their actions.
[Criminal trial]. Only because it’s quicker. They don’t deserve to live.
Go through criminal courts as long as the death penalty is part of the consequences if found guilty.
Actually, If they were part of ISIS, I think they should be executed where they were captured. Don’t put them in Gitmo, and for goodness sake, Don’t bring them to America to try them – ISIS members simply don’t deserve civil treatment.
Or send them to Sweden where they’ll be given houses and jobs driving buses … it seems like the right thing to do!
Federal courts allow them to be treated as common criminals with the ability to walk away over some silly technicality. They will claim their actions are called for in Islam which means they are only exercising their religious freedom and some liberal judge will set them free. Send them to Gitmo in a solitary cell, and let them stay there alone.