Should Flight 253 suspect be tried in Detroit or handed over to military as enemy combatant?

Criminal or enemy combatant?

The U.S. Justice Department charged [Umar Farouk] Abdulmutallab on Saturday, and many legal experts expect the case to be tried before a jury in Detroit.

But some prominent political leaders have begun to question whether Abdulmutallab should be turned over to the military as an enemy combatant.

Murdoc says because of the place, the target, and who captured him, he’s a criminal. He’s obviously a soldier in the war, but I think he should be tried as a civilian.

If he’s secretly flown to an undisclosed location for questioning by a non-government agency, though, it’s probably okay.

UPDATE: One thing I meant to comment on the other day but forgot about is that I read the maximum penalty for attempting to blow up a plane seems to be $250,000 and up to 20 years. IANAL, but can’t they get him for nearly 300 counts of attempted murder? Or something?


  1. I think he should be shot as a spy, then tried in a military court, and THEN tried in a civilian corpse. I’d even be ok with his corpse being exonerated.

  2. The crime was not committed in Detroit, so the county and state has tenuous jurisdiction. The crime was committed across multiple state boundaries, so it would seem that the Fed would have the jurisdiction. My vote would be for a military tribunal, just my bias, but I’m confident that AG Eric Holder will pursue this case with the same prosecutorial zeal as he did the Nation of Islam voter intimidation case…oh, wait, how did that work out?…oh, crap, we’re boned.

  3. Technically he hadn’t “entered” the U.S. when he attacked U.S. citizens; He was still in the air. FDR would have tried him and hanged him inside a week.

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