Last week on 60 Minutes, they interviewed another Muslim who went turncoat and is now helping Indonesian authorities, etc. track down terrorists. He said something that answered a question that has been bugging me for ages, which is this - "What is the currency of the terrorist?"
Switching Sides: Inside The Enemy Camp, Bob Simon Talks To A Former Terrorist Commander - CBS News
It's not often you get a chance to talk to someone who was a key player inside a terrorist organization for twenty years, but 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon did just that when he interviewed Nasir Abas, one of the most valuable members of a terrorist group ever to change sides and work for the authorities. Abas is from Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. And he was a top commander in Jemaah Islamiyah, al Qaeda's franchise operation in Southeast Asia.
When Abas was inside the organization, he trained hundreds of young militants to become terrorists and became one of the most wanted men in the region. For 20 years, he worked to achieve an Islamic state throughout Southeast Asia. He embraced the idea of a holy war and spoke the language of jihad.
"I hate the infidels," Abas admits he once believed.
"When you say you hate the infidels … infidel is a word that means something, in your language, in Jemaah Islamiyah or al Qaeda. … But explain to me, what is an infidel?" Simon asks.
"Infidel is a non-Muslim people," Abas replies.
"And you hated non-Muslim people," Simon remarks. "At that time you would have hated me."
"Of course. But now not," Abas says.
Back then, in his days as a terrorist, Abas' view of the world was simple: black and white. But that ended in October 2002, when the island of Bali, known in the west as a paradise and a playground, was shattered by explosions.
Two massive bombs blew that paradise apart, killing 202 people. The victims were mostly young people from Australia, the U.S. and the U.K.
Nasir Abas had nothing to do with the attack itself, but he knew what was behind it because he knew the bombers. He had trained them.
"How do you feel about so many of your friends causing the death of so many innocent people?" Simon asks.
"I feel unhappy, I feel sinful," Abas replies.
He says he feels sinful because he taught the bombers much of what they knew.
Within days of the bombings, police zeroed in on Jemaah Islamiyah. Three of its members, the key planners, were brothers; the mastermind was Abas' brother-in-law. It was really a family affair, and it didn't take long for police to track down Abas himself. When they knocked on his door, he says he attacked the police with the hope that they would kill him.
"It is better to die than to be arrested," Abas explains.
Asked if he wanted to die as a martyr, Abas says, "Correct."
"You must have been very disappointed," Simon remarks.
"Of course, at that time," Abas acknowledges.
The allegation is that public arrests and trials of these murderous backwards fuckballs really pisses them off. Threatening that you're going to kill them is like telling Jakarta Expat that he's going to get paid to get oily handjobs from Balinese teenagers...that's exactly what they want more than anything. What they abhorr more than anything is an arrest, and a public trial.
Sooooo....gets me thinking at least, we could have a field day with these bastards in Guantanamo. Publicly try them - all of them. In American courts. 1) It'll restore some of the world's confidence in our judgement, and 2) It'll do more to punish the souls of the jihadists than pursuing them to their graves ever would.
The worst that could happen is we find lots of innocents among the detainees, and let their governments be the bad guys when they won't let them come back home. The best that could happen is we make mockaries of them, let them spill their bile and venom for everyone to see, and refuse to kill them. In fact, we should try to kill them with kindness, since killing them with hate seems to have this counter-intuitive, bizarro-world galvanizing effect on our enemy. Maybe after we try them and find them guilty, we forgive them, and let them go free....put them on an airplane to the country of their choosing, or let them stay here. Provide them room and board for a few months, help them find a job and a mosque, etc. How much worse could it be than what we have now?