As Captain Ed points out in this post, the law enforcement approach to fighting terrorism doesn’t work. A German court released suspected terrorist Mamoun Darkanzli because of a dispute over an extradition request and the reversal of a newly passed German law intended to strengthen legal tools to fight terrorism:
In a ruling seen as a sharp blow to coordinated counterterrorism efforts in Europe, Germany’s highest court refused Monday to turn over to Spain a citizen suspected of aiding Al Qaeda, arguing that a recent European agreement to streamline extradition procedures violated the rights of German citizens. …
But on Monday the German Constitutional Court declared the law creating the European warrant void, even though it was ratified by the German Parliament in November. The court reasoned that the law infringed on the right of every citizen of Germany, enshrined in its Basic Law, to a court hearing in this country before extradition can take place.
The ruling will surely be seen as a setback in a Europe that has closer coordination to prevent terrorism at the top of the public agenda and is still reeling from the terrorist attacks in London this month.
“He must be set free following this ruling, which is a blow for the government in its efforts and fight against terrorism,” said the German justice minister, Brigitte Zypries, referring to Mr. Darkazanli.
Mr. Darkazanli, who was interrogated by German investigators for several months after the Sept. 11 attacks, has denied having engaged in any terrorist activity, saying he was a businessman who knew members of the Qaeda cell in Germany only “by sight.”
Apparently Spain invoked the European Union extradition procedure for Darkanzli based on Spain’s further evidence tying Darkanzli to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. The German court interpreted German law to indicate that Germany have enough evidence to try Darkanzali before extraditing him to Spain, thereby requiring Spain’s evidence to be made public.
This is a clear example of the ineffectiveness of trying to prosecute terrorists as criminals. As Captain Ed says,
“This shows the predictable results of relying on law enforcement to fight Islamofascist terrorism. First, it underestimates the threat of terrorism by equating it to the grubby environs of organized crime, instead of the existential threat it clearly represents after 9/11, Madrid, Morocco, and London. Second, it takes the crucial intelligence battle and forces it to be exposed in open court, making Western nations decide whether the risk of blowing covers is worth a criminal conviction for a single operative. Third, the process takes so long that it eats up resources clearly needed elsewhere in the war and in civil law enforcement.
In short, as we saw in the 1990s, it provides a recipe for stalling and timidity, when boldness and quick action serve us better.
Terrorism may involve committing crimes, but it is not a criminal enterprise in the same sense of the Mafia. The Mafia and other organized-crime syndicates exist to skim money off of capitalist economies, using strong-arm tactics as well as corruption and stealth, but they don’t aim to destroy the societies in which they operate. They exist as parasites, not predators, to Western societies. Islamofascist terrorists want to destroy us, and then take command of what’s left. They are an existential threat, not mere parasites, and pretending that they are the same as a ring of car thieves puts us all at risk.”
Many on the left in this country have suggested prosecuting terrorists and enemy combatants in the criminal courts of this country. It would not take long for all of them to be released and back in Iraq fighting Americans.