A federal judge in Miami sentenced Brooklyn-born convert to Islam Jose Padilla to over 17 years in prison pursuant to his jury conviction for conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism.

The judge stressed that the sentence would serve as a warning to others that support for terrosism “will not be tolerated.” A spokeswoman for the United States attorney’s office said, “These are serious sentences that effectively dismantle a North American support cell for terrorists. That’s a good thing.

Padilla’s conviction is just the latest accomplishment in the United States’ post-9/11 security efforts. In the past six years the US has thwarted 19 unclassified terrorist attacks, including the Padilla cell. In oder to keep this remarkable record, Congress must preserve the terror fighting tools the governemnt currently has, including modernizing FISA to secure US intelligence gathering overseas. Vice President Dick Cheney will be making the case for FISA refrom at Heritage today.

Quick Hits:

  • Unilateral US efforts to shut down Iran’s access to international banks is hurting Iran much more tangibly than the targeted United Nations sanctions the Financial Times reports.
  • Politicians from Sonora, Mexico, will travel to Mexico City next week to see help housing and feeding workers self-deporting from Arizona due to a new employer-sanctions law.
  • Venezuela President Hugo Chavez dispatched 1,200 troops to the Columbian border to keep Venezuelans from smuggling in scarce price controlled items like food and gasoline.
  • Scientists now say warmer oceans should translate into fewer Atlantic hurricanes striking the United States.
  • A World Economic Forum report shows 79% of Danes as well as majorities of Swedes, Spanish, and Italians all consider more interaction with the Muslim world a threat.