February 10, 2016

King: ship Christmas Day bomber to Cuba for trial in military court

Congressman Steve King says the suspected terrorist who tried to blow up a plane bound for Detroit should be taken to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. King, a Republican from western Iowa, says the man should be not be tried in the American court system.

“We ought to be taking a look at taking people like this ‘Christmas Day Bomber’ and declaring them to be an ‘enemy combatant’ even if they have set foot in the United States. This plot took place in a foreign country and I don’t even know if he was over U.S. airspace when this actually happened. This no one’s asked that question that I know of,” King says.  “I’d take him and put him down at Gitmo and I’d take a look at trying them all in military tribunals.”

King is among those who oppose taking the suspected terrorists who’ve been held in Cuba and moving them to a prison in Illinois.  

 “And we’re going to set them 15 miles from the Mississippi River? Fifteen miles from Iowa? And grant them constitutional rights?  The worst of the worst?” King says.  “Two of them that were released from Gitmo were half of the four perpetrators who were strategists, planners for this Christmas Day bombing.” 

The two suspects who investigators believe were part of the Christmas Day bombing plot were released from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2007, during the Bush Administration.  King says President Obama and his aides need a “mindset” change that shifts toward preventing future attacks rather than “cleaning up the mess” after this latest terror plot.  According to King, the Obama Administration has refused to brief him and other Republicans in congress about this episode and other recent terror plots that have been disrupted.

“You can’t ask congress to support your effort if you can’t at least have a sit-down conversation in a classified setting,” King says.  “So what I’m going to push for is a session of congress that is a classified briefing on the floor of congress that brings in all the administration personnel that have jurisdiction over this and then close and lock the doors, shut down the security and then keep them there for three or four hours so they have to answer the questions rather than filibuster the questions.”

King made his comments this morning at Iowa Public Television, just after taping of the weekly “Iowa Press” program which airs Friday evening. During the taping, King said he supports installing new monitoring equipment at the nation’s airports which would detect the materials of a bomb, as the Christmas Day bomber reportedly was trying to set off explosives which were sewn into his underwear.  King, though, acknowledges installing the new equipment at U.S. airports wouldn’t have prevented the last week’s episode in Detroit since the accused bomber went through security in a foreign airport to board the plane.

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