NEW YORK, NY--A thankful relief hangs over the city today, after the revelation that Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, al-Qaeda spokesperson and son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, was arraigned in civilian court yesterday, amazingly without a single loss of life or any recorded property destruction.
"I saw the whole thing on TV; he was properly mirandized, [and] he had a lawyer by his side and everything," a visibly shaken Maureen Pohar, 44, told reporters. "It's a miracle nobody was killed."
"We dodged a real bullet here, let me tell you," said Keith Rodriguez, an auto mechanic, with a shudder. "He was actually informed of what he was being charged with, and as far as I could see, wasn't being waterboarded. That kind of recklessness almost always leads to disaster."
Sulaiman, who spent approximately 25 minutes in an American civilian court, mercifully did not use his Constitutionally-protected rights to destroy the courthouse or any other prominent landmark, nor did he inflict a single injury or death.
Nevertheless, many are fearful of the prospect that Sulaiman may be returned to civilian court, with some political commentators saying the odds of Sulaiman appearing in court and not destroying half the city again are miniscule. Retired Colonel and Fox News contributor Stephen McGrath told reporters he feels the danger isn't over yet.
"Look, any time somebody is being processed through the legal system in the manners proscribed by the Constitution, it's very dicey. Lawyers, rights, transparency, proof of guilt-it's a real mess that's well due for some overhaul. But when you've got a terrorist in the mix, well, you're just asking for a catastrophe to occur," said McGrath.
"Mark my words: each and every time that man is brought before a judge, no American is safe," McGrath concluded.
Sulaiman's apparent inability or unwillingness to wreak havoc and death in the courthouse has led some to wonder if the accused is a terrorist at all.
"It's odd. We all know that a terrorist being brought to trial in a civilian court would lead to another 9/11, at the very least. Yet, at least this time, nothing happened," commented Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe. "I don't know if [Sulaiman] is just playing the long-game here, but, the way he didn't use the protections of the Bill of Rights to destroy everything within reach makes me wonder if he's nothing more than an ordinary criminal."
However it plays out in the future, New Yorkers are glad, if only for today, that the worst didn't come to pass.
"I still don't know how I'm going to explain this to my four-year-old," admitted Shelley Wash of Brooklyn. "How on earth do you tell an innocent little girl that the country she lives in applies the law equally to all under its jurisdiction?"