Saturday, April 28, 2007

Something is rotten here

I've never been one to believe should trample on human rights in the name of homeland security. We've done far too much of that in the past eight years. However, a British court seems determined to show that is indeed possible to go too far in the other direction. Here is the situation:

Two Libyans found to pose a danger to national security are likely to be released on bail next week after a court ruled that they could not be sent back to their own country.

Siac, the special anti-terrorist court, said it was "quite satisfied" that one of the men, an Islamic extremist identified as "AS", would resume terrorist violence when he was able. The other, "DD", was also unlikely to modify his behaviour, Siac added. A map in a car at his home had marks on footpaths under a flight path to Birmingham Airport.

But the court found a "real risk" that the two men could be tortured or ill-treated in breach of the European Human Rights Convention if they were deported, despite an agreement with Libya signed in 2005. Siac warned that if they were put on trial there was also a risk of their being denied a fair hearing.

Here's a description of one of the suspects:
D, 31, is an Islamic extremist and a "real and direct threat to the national security of the UK", Siac said. He is a "global jihadist with links to the Taliban and al-Qa'eda".A map book found in the boot of a car at his address in October 2005 found markings along footpaths under the flight path of Birmingham International Airport.

And here's a description of the other one:

AS, 26, is "a clear danger to national security", Siac concluded.

"He is an Islamic extremist who has engaged actively and as a senior member with a terrorist group clearly engaged in support work for jihadist activities. He was a leading part of it before its more specific planning of terrorist violence began. That would be sufficient to make him a danger to national security."

However, Siac continued, AS also gave the group instructions after a Tunisian called Nassim returned from Iran. These were probably to plan for and to carry out violent actions directed against Western interests, probably in Europe but possibly in Afghanistan and Iraq. "The group did plan such violence and set out to achieve it. We are quite satisfied that AS will resume these activities when he is able to do so."

So let's get this straight: two Libyan nationals, who happen to be Islamic extremists, have managed to sneak into Britain. They are not just any extremists, mind you, but ones who have actively participated in the planning of terror attacks, at least one of which would have been an attack against London's Heathrow airport. The court has determined that they will almost certainly resume planning terror attacks upon release. So of course it's perfectly logical that they will be RELEASED ON BAIL.

I don't know enough about British and European law to know whether the legal reasoning is technically correct. But I do know that there is something seriously wrong with a country's legal system when it rules that foreign terrorists cannot be sent back to their own countries. This is twisting the concept of human rights so far it is hardly recognizable.

UPDATE: I've cleaned up the wording of the post a little bit to make my point more clearly.

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