Attorney General Eric Holder said the life sentence given to the first former Guantanamo inmate tried in a civilian courtroom today shows the ability of the American legal system to deal with terrorism cases.
“Today’s sentencing of Ahmed Ghailani shows yet again the strength of the American justice system in holding terrorists accountable for their actions,” Holder said in a statement. “Ghailani will now rightly serve the rest of his life in prison for his role in the attacks against American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that left 224 dead, including twelve Americans.”
Ghailani’s trial started in October with little fanfare despite the heated political debates over the use of civilian courts for terror suspects.
After a judge ruled that some evidence was inadmissible due to torture, Republicans were quick to criticize Holder and the Obama administration.
“Ghailani is the fifth person to be convicted in federal court in connection with the embassy bombings, and we hope this life sentence brings some measure of justice to the victims of these attacks and their families and friends who have waited so long for this day,” Holder said. “Hundreds of individuals have now been convicted in federal court of terrorism or terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001. As this case demonstrates, we will not rest in bringing to justice terrorists who seek to harm the American people, and we will use every tool available to the government to do so.”