Lanza Urges Assembly to Pass His Bill Against Civil Trials for Terrorists
Senator Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) today called on Speaker Sheldon Silver to bring Senate Bill S.3871 to the Assembly floor for a vote. The bill would prohibit New York State, or its local governments, from funding any civilian trials of enemy combatants for acts of terrorism in federal courts located in New York.
The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it would prosecute in civilian court a suspected al Qaeda supporter Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame. The Somali terrorist was held and interrogated on a Navy ship for more than two months before being flown to New York for a civilian trial — something a series of congressional actions dating beyond last year have directly banned if the terrorist had been detained at Gitmo.
“The President and Attorney General went to extraordinary and costly means to ignore the will of Congress and the people of New York,” said Senator Andrew Lanza. “They seem hell bent on giving foreign terrorists greater rights then they are willing to give American soldiers. Civil trials allow foreign terrorists to exploit our civil trial procedures and discovery rules, and gain intelligence information which will be used to more effectively attack America. This is what happened during the trial of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. Helping our enemies is unconscionable and injurious to our national security. I call upon the Speaker to allow the bill to simply come to the floor of the Assembly for a vote. I am confident that Assembly members will put our State and Country’s safety first and pass the bill. I have successfully debated and passed this critical legislation in the Senate. It is urgent that the Assembly act now. The President and Attorney General seem hell bent on forcing these trials upon the people of New York based upon some misguided and dangerous political agenda. We the people must act to protect ourselves.”
“The arrogance of the Obama administration, and specifically that of Attorney General Holder, has clearly blinded them to the dangers of holding civilian trials in New York,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), who has co-sponsored Senator Lanz a’s bill in the Assembly. “Each trial brings renewed threat to New York’s citizens and opens us up to another horrific terror attack. The President’s actions are reckless and irresponsible. By his actions, Mr. Obama has sent a clear message that he does not care about the safety and welfare of those he was elected to protect and serve.”
Lanza and Hikind introduced the legislation last year when the Obama Administration attempted to try Sept. 11 terrorist suspects in New York City civil court. The legislation mirrors the efforts of Congress at the federal level. Congress has passed legislation which prohibits the use of federal funds to try detainees being kept in the Guantanamo Bay prison within U.S. civilian courts.
“Foreign enemies of America should not be afforded the same privileges and rights which are afforded to American citizens under the U.S. Constitution.” Lanza adds that a civil trial would afford these murders even greater rights than a United States soldier which is unconscionable.