In a speech delivered in 1984, Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick spoke of a coming “terrorist war [against the U.S.], [that] is part of a total war which sees the whole society as an enemy, and all members of a society as appropriate objects for violent actions.” Her words came to pass on September 11, 2001, and the world community come to understand terrorism as “an act of war.” Indeed, viewing terrorism as an act of war is a new manifestation of the changing nature of armed conflict. As such, it poses a new challenge for the historically fixed international rules relating to armed conflict. One of those issues pertains to the lawfulness of military tribunals to try al-Qa’eda and Taliban for war crimes (more here.)
It was an act of war and should be tried as such. And then Abdulhakim Muhammad should put to death.
Wannabe terrorist who killed a soldier complains he is being tried like a common criminal - so it's easier to give him the death penalty Daily Mail, hat tip Paul
Abdulhakim Muhammad is facing a capital murder charge for the killing of William Andrew Long
A man claiming to have links to Al Qaeda will go on trial this week for shooting dead a soldier and wounding another.
Abdulhakim Muhammad opened fire on an Army recruiting station in Arkansas two years ago, declaring the shooting was in retaliation for U.S. military action in the Middle East.
When Muhammad goes on a state trial in Little Rock, he won't face any federal or terrorism charges.
Instead he is facing a capital murder charge, which he complains, likens him to merely a common criminal.
With no grand stage for his political beliefs, and if he is convicted by the state rather than the federal government, he faces a much greater chance of execution.
'This case should be in federal or military court,' Muhammad, 26, claimed in a letter to Circuit Judge Herbert Wright in May.
'In my eyes it's a sham trial set up only to make sure I'm handed down a death sentence.'
The U.S. has put three people to death since the federal death penalty was reinstated in 1988. Arkansas executed 27 people in that time.
Both federal officials and the U.S. attorney in Little Rock declined to comment.
Muhammad has confessed to The Associated Press, to the judge overseeing his case and to authorities, describing what he'd done and why.
He tried to plead guilty in court, but Arkansas law doesn't allow that in death penalty cases, lest the state grant a kind of 'suicide' request.
The judge informed Muhammad he would have to stand trial and jury selection begins today.
Muhammad and other witnesses said he drove up to a military recruiting station in Little Rock on June 1, 2009, where two soldiers - Army Pvt. William Andrew Long, 23, (photo right) and Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, then 18 - were smoking cigarettes outside.
They'd recently completed basic training and had volunteered to work as recruiters.
Neither had seen combat. Muhammad fired an assault rifle, killing Long and wounding Ezeagwula.
Police stopped Muhammad moments later on a highway that would have taken him to Memphis, Tennessee, where he lived until he moved to Little Rock.
Officers found more weapons and ammunition in his truck, along with a stash of bottled water and food. He told authorities he would have killed more soldiers if he could have.
Muhammad and those prosecuting him say he knew what he was doing, but his defence attorneys and father say something's clearly wrong.
Read the rest.
UPDATE: Here is the link to the video interview of his parents filmed by a private company. It's 8 minutes long. This is the rest of the story of Andy Long's death. Make sure your tissues are within reach as your American pride will burst at the seems. Only in America. (hat tip Tiffin)