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O'REILLY: Yemen not the place to send suspected al-Qaida terrorists

It was puzzling to read opinion pieces in liberal newspapers like The New York Times and Newsday lamenting the Christmas Day al-Qaida attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet. Most of the liberal press agreed: That was not a nice thing to do, and those terrorists should stop the attacks this very minute. But no actual solutions to stopping terrorism were put forth by the progressive press.

Of course, 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a loser from Nigeria, was not exactly 007 in executing his mission. That might speak to how badly al-Qaida has been downgraded by aggressive measures put in place by the George W. Bush administration.

Now, the al-Qaida agents of slaughter are smuggling explosives in their underwear instead of trying to hijack the entire plane. Instead of being handed over to the military, this Umar nitwit will be tried in civilian court so the world can understand that the U.S. justice system really, really works. Like the world cares.

Apparently, Abdulmutallab was trained in Yemen — the same Yemen that on Dec. 20 accepted six Guantanamo Bay detainees. That's another puzzling deal. In the fall of 2007, the United States sent two other Gitmo terrorists to Saudi Arabia for "rehabilitation." Now one of those guys, Said Ali Shari, is reportedly a top al-Qaida commander in — wait for it — Yemen! As the Church Lady once said, "How convenient!

I am beginning to think we are in the "Twilight Zone" in this country. The liberal press screams all day long about closing Gitmo and providing civilian trials for captured foreign terrorists. Then when an overseas terrorist almost blows up 300 innocent people, the press goes, "Gee, that's not acceptable."

Also, everybody except Al Franken knows that Yemen is an al-Qaida stronghold, but the Barack Obama administration sends six incarcerated terror suspects to Yemen? Paging Rod Serling.

This would be laugh-out-loud absurd if lives were not at stake. I mean, why don't we just close Gitmo and send the misunderstood inmates there directly to the mountains of Pakistan? Why delay the process with stops in the Arabian Peninsula?

I'm surprised at CIA chief Leon Panetta. He surely understands that countries like Yemen are chaotic cauldrons of violence where terrorists openly roam. Leon, why are you sending Gitmo bad guys there? Help me, I'm trying to understand.

Most Americans, I believe, have little idea how dangerous the jihad really is. If they did, the Obama administration and the liberal press could never get away with the lunacy that is now under way. The latest al-Qaida fanatic may have gotten tangled up in his underwear, but some other killer will do better down the road. And don't be surprised if he's from Yemen.

Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor."