Holder Refused to Take Over the Pimentel Terrorism Case


The federal government usually assumes control of terrorism cases when the entire nation’s welfare was at stake. In the terrorism case of Jose Pimentel, the federal government left it to New York state to handle the national threat posed by Jose Pimentel.

The federal government, specifically, the FBI, has for the second time let state authorities handle a terrorism case. Jose Pimentel, 27, a suspected follower of late Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, was arrested on Saturday in a New York apartment just one hour away from completing a pipe bomb, police said. The defense has hinted that Pimentel was entrapped, a claim which worked for the last suspected terrorists the federal government wouldn’t arrest.

The other case, back in May, involved an Algerian and a Moroccan-born U.S. citizen who allegedly conspired to dress as Jewish worshipers and bomb synagogues and churches in Manhattan. A grand jury declined to indict the men on the most serious charge sought by prosecutors, and their attorneys have argued they were entrapped by police and a confidential informant. Reuters

When the entire nation’s welfare is concerned, Federal law should trump state law. The state did ask the federal government to become involved in both cases and they refused. In the Pimentel case, the FBI said it was unlikely he would follow through.

If the federal government took the cases, the cases would be elevated to another level, and Holder refuses to do that. This is the age of minimizing terrorist attacks and over-criminalizing such things as lemonade stands without permits.