Wednesday, January 26, 2005

France and Germany cracking down?

These two AP headlines caught my eye:

"France Detains Suspects in Iraq Network" and "Federal Judge Undercuts Terror Case"

The first was a bit surprising, the second not at all.

From the first:

PARIS (AP) -- Security agents have detained seven people suspected of being part of a network funneling French Islamic militants to Iraq, police said Tuesday.


In neighboring Germany, numerous arrests linked to Iraq have been made recently. On Sunday, German security forces arrested two alleged al-Qaida members, an Iraqi and a Palestinian, accused of plotting an attack in Iraq. Earlier this month, German police arrested 22 people to break up an alleged network of Muslim extremists suspected of falsifying passports and spreading militant Islamic propaganda.

Maybe Europe is starting to wake up a bit, but the second article shows that we have a long way to go here at home:

The government had hoped to prove al-Moayad's ties to Osama bin Laden with address books containing al-Moayad's name and phone number, which were confiscated from suspected al-Qaida fighters being expelled from the former Yugoslavia. The government also planned to introduce an admission form for an al-Qaida Afghan training camp that used al-Moayad as a reference.

The judge called the Croatian evidence ``so remote, I am going to preclude the government from using it.''

He went on to exclude the Afghan evidence, apparently agreeing with a defense argument that the presence of al-Moayad's name on the form was not sufficient proof of wrongdoing. ``We don't know who put this name in,'' the judge said.

He also ruled a videotape showing al-Moayad with a high-ranking Hamas official on the day of an Israeli suicide bombing could not be introduced without the testimony of Mohamed Alanssi, an FBI informant who recorded it.

I'm no lawyer, and I don't know anymore than the AP tells me about this case, but I do know that our government needs to find an effective way to deal with terrorists and those who harbor them. Our judiciary, if left unchecked, will cripple the best efforts of our military and intelligence community.