Another Terrorist Turns Out Not To Have Superpowers

Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad.

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


In federal court in Manhattan Tuesday morning, Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad was sentenced to life in prison. Like every other one of the over 350 terrorists in US prisons, Shahzad, in the end, turned out not to have superpowers. Like Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who went on trial in New York this week, he had neither super-strength nor X-ray vision. The federal prison system was completely capable of holding him. The FBI was completely capable of interrogating him without turning to waterboarding or stress positions or beating the crap out of him. He sang like a bird. And the federal court system was completely capable of sending his sorry ass to prison, where he belongs. 

Meanwhile, as Ghailani, who’s supposedly a big scary terrorist, is being tried in federal court near (gasp!) Ground Zero (and the “Ground Zero mosque”), people seem to be carrying on about their business:

Look: these terrorists are morons. Murderous, cowardly morons, but morons nonetheless. They are not going to achieve their agenda by slaughtering people. Just as Terry Nichols was not going to bring down the US government by murdering a bunch of children in Oklahoma City, Khalid Sheikh Mohamed didn’t magically re-establish the Caliphate by murdering 3,000 Americans in lower Manhattan. If we can put Nichols on trial, if we can put Ghailani on trial, if we can put the blind sheikh and Zacarias Moussaoui and Richard Reid and the Unabomber and the DC sniper and the brain-eater guy on trial and lock them up in Florence for the rest of their lives, we can do the same thing to KSM and his buddies. These guys are not friggin Magneto!

 

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.