Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will be held in military prison without a trial indefinitely: report
BY Samuel Goldsmith
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Saturday, November 13th 2010
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will likely be held in military prison without a trial indefinitely as the Obama administration decides what to do with the 9/11 mastermind, according to a new report.
A trial - civilian or military - is not expected to happen before the next presidential election, the Washington Post reported Saturday. The Obama administration apparently fears backlash will come from either decision.
Attorney General Eric Holder said this week that his team is close to making a decision on the trial.
He announced early this year that Mohammed would be tried in civilian court in New York City - an idea that led to enormous criticism from New York politicians because of security risks and the trial's cost.
New York officials estimated the cost of holding a trial in Manhattan at $250 million. Mayor Bloomberg is among those opposed to a trial in lower Manhattan, just a few blocks from Ground Zero.
Opponents have suggested having a civilian trial somewhere else, such as Governors Island, Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the Bureau of Prisons jail complex at FCI Otisville.
Business and community leaders say the cost and disruptions the trial would bring make lower Manhattan a terrible option.
"To do so would involve 2,000 security checkpoints at a cost of over $200 million a year," said Julie Menin, head of Community Board One. "I urge the Administration to use the idea I championed of having a federal court judge preside over a federal, civilian trial at a military installation or other location that would have lower security costs and minimal impact to the surrounding neighborhood."
New York politicians remain steadfast in their opposition to a trial in the Big Apple.
"I urge Attorney General Holder not to hold any 9/11 trials in New York or anywhere in the U.S.," Rep. Peter King (R-L.I.), the incoming Homeland Security Committee chairman, told the News earlier this week.
King said KSM and his henchmen should be tried by a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they are held without charges for the 2001 Al Qaeda attacks.
"The trial should not and will not be in New York," added Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
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