During his glorious run for president, Newt Gingrich liked to tell a story about Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square car bomber. Shahzad, Gingrich would recall, was once asked by a federal judge how he could attempt to carry out a terrorist attack when he, as a new citizen, had sworn a loyalty oath to the United States. And Shahzad told the judge that he had simply lied. We were never sure what Gingrich’s point was, and, in fact, there may not have been one. Regardless, poring over the batch of private Al Qaeda communications released by the Combating Terrorism Center today, we discovered that Osama bin Laden took a keen interest in this same story. His thoughts on it, as expressed in an October 2010 letter to another top Al Qaeda leader, are … surprising.
“Perhaps you monitored the trial of brother Faysal Shahzad. In it he was asked about the oath that he took when he got American citizenship. And he responded by saying that he lied. You should know that it is not permissible in Islam to betray trust and break a covenant. Perhaps the brother was not aware of this. Please ask the brothers in Taliban Pakistan to explain this point to their members. In one of the pictures, brother Faysal Shahzad was with commander Mahsud; please find out if Mahsud knows that getting the American citizenship requires taking an oath to not harm America. This is a very important matter because we do not want al-Mujahadin to be accused of breaking a covenant.”
Apparently, bin Laden, the worst person in the world, was strongly against lying. Blowing up a car in the middle of Times Square and killing hundreds of innocent Lion King fans is cool — just as long as there’s no lying involved. Be careful about lying, you guys, we’ll get a bad reputation! What a weirdo. We’re glad he’s dead.