April 03, 2006

How do we solve a problem like Moussaoui?

Do we kill him, or let him live?

If Zacarias Moussaoui is given life in prison instead of death, he may do a good deal of harm with the time he has left. It's obvious that prison inmates are apt to make poor choices, or they wouldn't be in prison in the first place. So a connected terrorist could recruit like a fox in a henhouse. He would have his pick of dangerous criminals to convert to the service of Allah and the cause of jihad.

I did a fast Google of prison converts to Islam, and found several interesting articles. The only one that lists numbers is the Washington Post from August 2005:

What's more, the group within the African American Muslim community that is experiencing the most explosive growth is probably the least assimilated: black inmates. Good statistics are hard to come by, but one estimate places the number of Muslim converts in prison above 250,000. (emphasis mine)
It's not the only article I found. From ReligionLink, October 2003:
Now, although blacks still predominate, more Hispanics and whites are converting, too. Experts say the Nation’s influence is waning, and Sunni and Shiite traditions are gaining ground.
Charles Colson writes in 2002:
Jose Padilla, now known as Abdullah al-Muhajir, the man accused of plotting to build a "dirty bomb," had been in and out of America's prison system, where he was influenced by Islamic inmates. Richard Reid, the failed "shoe bomber," was converted to Islam in a British prison by a radical imam—one who was later suspended by British authorities for "inappropriate conduct."

Both are chilling reminders of the on-going threat of terrorism. If not for the good work of our intelligence officers (and the alertness of the airline passengers who subdued Reid) we might now be adding hundreds more names to the list of American terror victims. Both cases are reminders, as well, of what fertile fields prisons are for cultivating terrorists.

So the idea of giving Moussaoui a lifetime pass at recruitment and indoctrination may wind up harming far more people than he could have if he had been allowed to fly on September 11th. Fly, and perish.

If he had died on September 11th, or if he is condemned by an American court (an infidel court), in his zealous, addled mind he would be entitled to receive a reward of 72 virgins in heaven. It's what has drawn so many frustrated young men to make martyrs of themselves. Those of us who live in the rational world can be fairly safe in the assumption that there are no virgins awaiting Mohammed's warriors, but then again - who are we to say?

Back in November I had written an off-the-cuff email to a friend which I later turned into this post (extreme caution). Thinking back on it, perhaps a more humane and medical version of my suggestion would be in order. Something that would take the sting out of his martyrdom, so to speak. It might be the only way to solve a problem like Moussaoui.

Posted by RightGirl at April 3, 2006 08:01 PM | TrackBack

I think your original version is just fine for that asshat. But we could be all nice about it and sedate him and keep him on pain killers till he heals and is fully aware of the matter. Then we strap him down for a nice peaceful lethal injection but before the drugs flow, toss some used tampons on him and a also a pig carcass. Let him freak for a while and then put him out of his misery.

Posted by: Mark at April 9, 2006 07:32 PM