Monday, August 01, 2005

British Terrorist Search Runs Afoul Of Italian Excuses

Written from Denali National Park, Alaska--

If someone jokes that he has a bomb in his luggage, it is still considered a serious offense, and some have received comparatively long jail terms, indeed as long as five years, for this offense.

Yet a mysterious Muslim seized in Italy, in the British search for would-be bombers in the London subways, is fighting extradition on grounds he and his cohorts in the abortive subway bombing of July 21 didn't really mean to kill anyone. They were simply trying to send the British a message, following up on the July 7 bombings that killed 56 persons, says Hussein Osman.

And, as usual, the weak Italian justice system is listening. There will now be months of hearings before Italian courts decide what to do with the British extradition request.

Even the offense Osman has admitted to is a very serious one. It is clear there is a plot to weaken the resolve of the British, and after 56 deaths, all threats to the subways obviously will spread fear.

But like many Muslim fundamentalists accused of terrorism, Osman is a thrice-proven liar. Nothing he says should necessarily be taken as true.

First, he told the British he was from Somalia, then from Ethiopia, now from someplace elwe. He has given false names.

And Osman, it turns out, went with a fellow-conspirator to Saudi Arabia, a little trip he held in common with some of the hijack conspirators of 9-11 in the U.S., some of whom were Saudis.

The safest thing to do with Osman and others who are "fooling around," playing such "jokes," is to treat them as dire threats who will be responsible if there are future injuries in Britain and other countries.

They should be imprisoned for a long time as a warning to others. It is time for countries like Italy to stiffen up, show a little resolve. Events and experience have shown we can't be easy with these people who always claim innocence or relative innocence.


Anonymous Ed Padgett said...

Written from Cozumel, Mexico

Hi Ken, with security at levels I have never experienced at LAX I waited in line for over three hours before reaching my gate Monday night for my flight with Mexicana Airlines.

Hope your trip is going well, mine is. I have been warned not to drink the water, so I´m only drinking beer.

Take care,
Ed Padgett
Los Angeles Times

8/03/2005 6:50 AM  

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