Informant Bryant Neal Vinas has been denied witness protection. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, the hosts of The Young Turks, discuss. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. http://www.tytnetwork.com/join
“Bryant Neal Vinas, a convicted terrorist from Long Island, showed up recently for dinner at Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side in oversize glasses with black rims, a thin attempt to alter his appearance.
After he was released from federal prison last year, Mr. Vinas assumed he would have no need for a disguise. He thought he was going into witness protection, with a home far away and a new identity, after he helped the American government battle Al Qaeda as one of the most important cooperators in the government’s fight against terrorism.
Captured in 2008 after training for months at Qaeda camps, Mr. Vinas quickly turned on his fellow jihadists and began helping American investigators dismantle the group. Even the federal judge who sentenced him described his cooperation as “remarkable.”
“I helped them kill my friends,” Mr. Vinas explained while eating pastrami on a hoagie roll with mayonnaise, his choice of condiment drawing a weird look from his lawyer and the waiter. He added, “If that doesn’t show how you’re willing to turn your life around, I don’t know what will.”
But the government decided against giving him protection, and Mr. Vinas, 35, has found himself unexpectedly back in New York, where he was raised and converted to Islam more than a decade ago. The F.B.I. and the Justice Department declined to comment, but a senior government official said there were concerns about whether Mr. Vinas would adapt to the program and potential conflicts with law enforcement officials who administer the witness protection program.”