9/11 suspects to be tried at Guantanamo: report
The Obama administration has decided against civilian trials for five men linked to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Attorney General Eric Holder will announce Monday that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four alleged co-conspirators will be tried in military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, according to NBC News.
Holder’s press conference is expected at 2 p.m. ET.
“The president’s primary concern here is that the accused perpetrators of that terrible attack on the American people be brought to justice as swiftly as possible and as fairly as possible,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday.
The announcement comes on the same day that President Barack Obama kicked off his re-election bid.
Obama’s administration initially announced plans to prosecute the men in New York. But the plans were met with howls of protest from lawmakers and New York residents, prompting the federal government to backtrack, saying its decision was under review.
Critics, including some of Obama’s fellow Democrats, cited security and cost concerns about a trial in Manhattan. Many Republicans argue that the plotters should not be granted US legal rights and should be tried in a military court as enemy combatants, not on American soil.
“The trial should not and will not be in New York,” New York Senator Charles Schumer, a leading Democrat, said in a statement reacting to Holder.
In 2009, Holder sensationally announced the trial would take place in a civilian criminal court in New York close to where the Al-Qaeda hijackers flew two packed airliners into the Twin Towers.
The administration decided to review its decision after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had initially backed the plans, changed his mind and suggested the highly sensitive case could instead proceed on a military base.