Written by DML
During his campaign, Donald J. Trump got super tough when speaking about illegal immigration, MS-13, and the war on terror. One of his promises was to keep terrorists out of our civilian courtrooms.
Trump’s conservative-style rhetoric was far different than the progressive ideology of President Obama and his right hand man, Eric Holder who wanted terrorists to come to the U.S. to stand trial, where they would have legal rights. Trump said “no way” to this sort of crazy liberal thinking. Trump, like most conservatives, said terror suspects should be sent to the prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. “We’re going to lock up a lot of bad-dudes” said Trump, when speaking about using Guantánamo.
Many conservatives were shocked Friday after it was announced that the Trump administration brought a member of Al Qaeda to the United States to stand trial in federal court. This move is in stark contrast to the promises given on the campaign stump during the 2016 election.
Ali Charaf Damache is the name of the terrorist brought to federal court Friday in Philadelphia.
Damache holds two citizenships. One with Algeria, and the other with Ireland. He was transferred from Spain to Philadelphia at tax payer expense, and he is the first foreigner brought to the United States to face terrorism charges under President Trump.
Damache is suspected of being an Al Qaeda recruiter, and he is charged with helping plot to kill a Swedish artist who depicted the Prophet Muhammad in cartoons.
Damache’s transfer is shocking on many levels. Not only does it go against Trump’s campaign promise, but it goes against everything Attorney General Jeff Sessions stood for when he was a senator. Fact is, Jeff Sessions strongly opposed bringing terrorists to the U.S. for trial when Obama was president.
Sessions has forever believed terror suspects should be imprisoned and tried at Guantánamo Bay. During senate hearings, Sessions repeatedly said that jihadists were not entitled to the same legal rights as Americans.
Getting Damache to the U.S. was no easy task. He was arrested in Ireland in 2010, but the 52 year old was released after a court rejected a request from the United States to extradite him.
Damache was arrested again in 2015 in Spain. Under Barack Obama’s guidance, Eric Holder and the Justice Department began seeking his extradition. The process continued once Trump became president.
It’s critically important to note that had Sessions demanded Damache be sent to Guantánamo Bay, he may have faced great resistance as some European countries will no longer agree to send prisoners to Guantánamo Bay. Either way, the move to bring Damache to federal court is getting high marks from Holder. The former attorney general said, “It’s good to see that the president and the attorney general now seem to share my belief in the effectiveness of the world’s greatest judicial system and its ability to keep the American people safe.”
Prosecutors say Damache was allegedly part of an Ireland-based cell that included Colleen R. LaRose, a Pennsylvania woman known as “Jihad Jane.” LaRose pled guilty in a U.S. court in 2011 to conspiracy and terrorism-related crimes. She is serving a 10-year sentence.
Damache appeared in federal court on Friday, where he waived his right to a swift arraignment. He said he had no cash or assets and that he needs his “legal representative that has been recommended by the Irish ambassador.”
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