Monday, July 25, 2005

Italians Issue More Arrest Warrants for CIA Agents

This is one of those stories that I haven't followed that closely that I probably should have. As I understand it Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, AKA Abu Omar (let's pick a name and stick with it, I'm talking to you, Abu Mazen) was in Italy out recruiting some friends to wear clothing by Dupont, when agents of the U.S. government decided to do a little snatch and grab and send him back to his home country of Egypt for some playtime with the electro-genital fun machine to get his tongue a wagging. This didn't sit well with the Italian government, who issued warrants for the arrest of the fellows who grabbed the good cleric.

When I first heard about this story, my initial reaction was, "Why didn't we just have the Italians grab the dude and hand him over to us?" I wonder if this might have something to do with it.

When four PLF operatives hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro, taking hundreds of passengers hostage, the insisted on the release of 50 Arab terrorists held by Israel — including Samir Kuntar, the Nahiriya killer. It was during this operation that Klinghoffer, an American citizen, was murdered, in front of his wife, specifically because he was Jewish.

After two days, the hijackers forced the boat to Egypt. Egyptian authorities permitted the hijackers and Abu Abbas to return to Tunisia. United States warplanes forced the hijacker's jetliner to land in Italy where most of the operatives were tried and imprisoned. But Italy, wary of taking on a prominent Palestinian terrorist, claimed it lacked the evidence to prosecute Abu Abbas and allowed him to slip away to Yugoslavia. (Italy later tried and convicted him in absentia). He then relocated to Iraq and embrace of his long-time patron Saddam Hussein.

Aside from providing more evidence that Hussein would never have anything to do with terrorists, it shows that maybe the Italian justice system isn't the mantle upon which we want to rest our national security.