Terrorists Ramzi Yousef and Timothy McVeigh Weren't in Gitmo; They Were Convicted and Safely Sent to U.S. Jails

The following is excerpted from a National Security Network report refuting GOP politicians who have suggested that bringing Gitmo suspects to the US for trial would endanger public safety. Dick Cheney's Thursday speech defending Gitmo rings completely empty in the face of this report.


As long as it is open, Guantanamo Bay remains a black eye on America’s reputation and hampers our ability to pursue our national security interests.  A bipartisan group of five former Secretaries of State, including Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger and James Baker all agree that it should be closed.  Condoleezza Rice and Bob Gates both urged President Bush to close it.  The Obama administration has developed a plan for closing Guantanamo and the money it has requested is the start of a process that will unfold over the next few months.

The federal prison system safely holds or has held for extended periods of time a large number of convicted terrorists including:

  • Ramzi Yousef. The mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings was convicted and sentenced in 1998 by the Federal District Court in Manhattan and is being held at ADX Florence, the supermax prison in Florence, Colorado. [NY Times, 1/9/98. NY Times, 4/5/03]
  • Zacharias Moussaoui. Convicting of conspiring to kill Americans for his role in the 9/11 attacks, Moussaoui is currently serving a life sentence at the supermax prison in Colorado. [NY Times, 5/3/06. NY Times, 5/14/06. NY Times, 5/5/06]
  • East African embassy bombing perpetrators. Wahid el-Hage, Mohammed Sadiq Odeh, Mohammed Rashed al-Owhali, and Khalfan Khamis Mohammed are all serving in ADX Florence. [NY Times, 12/25/01]
  • Richard C. Reid.  The so-called “Shoe Bomber,” Reid was convicted for trying to blow up an airliner over the Atlantic with explosives in his shoe.  He is currently serving a life sentence at ADX Florence. [NY Times, 1/31/03. NY Times,  5/14/06]
  • Timothy McVeigh. Convicted of killing 168 people by blowing up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, McVeigh was held in ADX Florence until his execution on June 11, 2001. [NY Times, 6/11/01]
  • Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri. The only person known to be held as an enemy combatant in the continental United States, al-Marri spent six years in the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina and is now being held in the Federal Correctional Institution in Illinois. [Associated Press Via Fox News, 5/1/09.  NY Times, 4/30/09]
  • Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. Responsible for plotting a series of bombings and assassinations, Omar Abdel-Rahman is currently serving a life sentence at Butner Federal Correctional Institution in North Carolina.
  • Muhammad Salameh. Convicted for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Salameh is serving a life sentence in ADX Florence. [Library of Congress, 9/99. NY Times, 3/5/94]

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