No Terrorists Convicted

In today’s column, Paul Krugman observes that John Ashcroft’s Justice Department has not had “any major successful prosecutions” or “any major captures.” Michele Malkin notes some exceptions:

What about shoebomber Richard Reid? What about Taliban solider John Walker Lindh? What about Yahya Goba, Shafal Mosed, Yasein Taher, Taysal Galab, Mukhtar al-Bakri and Sahim Alwan of Lackawanna, New York? What about Jeffrey Battle, Patrice Ford, Ahmed Bilal, Muhammad Bilal, and October Lewis of Portland, Oregon? And Mike Hawash? How about Masoud Ahmad Khan, Seifullah Chapman, Yong Ki Kwon, Donald Surratt, and Hammad Abdur-Raheem from the Washington DC area? What about James Ujaama? And Iyman Faris? [Malkin provides hyperlinks, which I omit here, for most names.]

Of course, “major” is a slippery modifier. But considering that Don Rumsfeld’s department is killing top level al Qaeda terrorists on a regular basis, and the fact that Ashcroft’s jurisdiction is the territorial United States, the list seems impressive enough.

Update: Add Nuradin M. Abdi to the list. Unless thwarting the killing of hundreds of people in flyover country doesn’t qualify as “major,” of course.

FILED UNDER: Terrorism
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Krugman has gone from being a left-leaning economist to a professional liar. He should be ignored.

  2. Eric Akawie says:

    I think what Krugman meant was “successful” terrorists. Of course I’d much rather we arrest failures.

  3. jen says:

    Well, it seems the most “successful” terrorists on US soil (I’m thinking of the 19 hijackers on 9/11) killed themselves and saved us the trouble (and money) of a long judicial process.

  4. John A. Kalb says:


    Successful terrorists are often dead. Perhaps Krugman is advocating trying them Mohammed Atta posthumously.