9/11 Suspects to be Tried at Guantanamo, Not NYC


9-11-trialNBC News reports that the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks will be tried in a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay and not in federal court in Manhattan, just blocks from the World Trade Center site.

The Justice Department was expected to make the announcement today.

The Obama administration’s announcement in 2009 that it would seek to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other four suspects in civilian court was met with fierce opposition from many elected officials, families of victims and those who live and work in Lower Manhattan, who would have had to contend with several rings of heavy security for the months of the trial.

The decision to try them at a U.S. naval base in Guantanamo instead is a victory for Mayor Bloomberg.

The mayor had supported the trial in New York at first, but then reversed himself and came out against it, citing the cost of providing security would be too much for the city to bear. He had put the figure at $200 million a year, but never provided details on what that included.

Bloomberg told reporters at an event in the Bronx on Monday that the city could have accommodated the trial, but prefers that it won’t be held in federal court.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly had also spoken out against trying the suspects in New York, saying at one point it would increase the threat of another terror attack.

The federal government had promised it would pay back the city for security costs, but would not have compensated business owners or others who would have been inconvenienced by the trial.

After pressure and opposition from Bloomberg and others, Attorney General Eric Holder shelved the plan last year, saying the White House was reviewing the decision.

Raising security concerns, conservative Republicans staunchly oppose trials in civilian courts inside the United States for terrorism suspects, saying they should be tried instead before military commissions at Guantanamo Bay.

The Obama administration had said that both civilian courts and military commissions should be available for such trials, pointing to the fact that dozens of terrorism-related cases have been handled in civilian courts.

Critics of the administration’s initial approach also argued that trials in civilian courts run a greater risk of acquittals than in military courts because of rules of evidence and rights afforded to suspects.

{NBC News/Matzav.com}


  1. comment # 1 should read a newspaper becasue then she would have the answer- he cant get Congress to approve what needs to be done to close Guantanamo.

    Clinton and Bush tried almost all of the non American terrorists from 1992 through 2008 in American courts and not in military courts. Obama/ Holder would have been no different. It seems that the reason is in part because of what was reported in CNN today

    “We weren’t out advocating for this decision,” a senior Defense official told CNN. “But we do have a court system (at Guantanamo Bay) that is both prepared to handle, and is already handling, people accused of crimes relating to terrorism.”
    The official said a lack of funding from Congress on more permanent detainment options for terrorist suspects within the continental United States “left the Justice Department short on options.”


  2. and to continue from above Eric holder said the following ( which we already knew) :
    He criticized restrictions imposed by Congress last year that banned the military from using its funds to transfer detainees to domestic soil, even for trials. “We must face a simple truth: those restrictions are unlikely to be repealed in the immediate future,”
    Mr. Holder said. “And we simply cannot allow a trial to be delayed any longer for the victims of the 9/11 attacks or for their families who have waited nearly a decade for justice.”

    And to quote Paul Campos professor of law at the University of Colorado on April 5th, 2011:
    ” The federal courts have been averaging more than 50 terrorist convictions a year since 9/11.”

    and further he said ” There isn’t a shred of evidence that our criminal courts can’t achieve something very close to a 100 percent conviction rate for people who have been charged with terrorism-related crimes, a category so broadly defined under federal law that it includes such things as giving any financial support to any group that has been classified as a terrorist organization. “