Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad
The former U.S. attorney general who as a judge presided over a trial following the 1993 terror attack on the World Trade Center says the decision by President Obama’s Justice Department to bring terror suspects into the U.S. and put them on trial in New York City will raise the danger level for the Big Apple.
Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the decision to haul Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and several others now held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Manhattan for a courthouse trial not far from the former location of the World Trade Center, destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000.
Holder said the suspects will be in New York “to answer for their alleged crimes in a courthouse just blocks away from where the twin towers once stood.”
But former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said the decision reflects the administration’s return to a pre-9/11 mindset, when such cases were handled in civilian courts. President Bush had planned a military resolution to the cases, since the defendants largely were apprehended by military troops as part of the nation’s war on terror.
According to the Weekly Standard, speaking at the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention today, Mukasey said the decision was “not only unwise, but based on a refusal to face the fact that what we are involved with here is a war with people who follow a religiously-based ideology that calls on them to kill us, and to return instead to the mindset that prevailed before Sept. 11 that acts like the first World Trade Center bombing, the attacks on our embassies in Africa and other such acts can and should be treated as conventional crimes and tried in conventional courts.”
Further, the Wall Street Journal reported Mukasey expects that by bringing terror suspects into New York, the Obama administration is risking turning the city into “the focus of mischief in the form of murder by adherents of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.”
Yet another danger he cited is the possible disclosure of intelligence secrets as part of the legal proceedings.
“I can’t see anything good coming out” of Holder’s decision, Mukasey said, the Journal reported.
Terror suspects at the trial over which Mukasey presided were convicted, but the Journal reported he was convinced during that time that federal courts were incapable of handling sensitive trials on terrorism charges.
Columnist Michelle Malkin reported immediately on the reaction to the administration’s decision.
The Department of Defense Victim Witness Program notified survivors and relatives of victims of the terror attack about the announcement, prompting a recipient, “Tim,” to announce, “We will fight with every remaining breath in our bodies both their bringing KSM and the rest of the 9/11 conspirators to federal courtrooms within walking distance of where they slaughtered our loved ones. And whomever finds Manhattan’s federal courthouse near Ground Zero a ‘sentimental favorite’ for the 9/11 trials is a damn fool and they ALL ought to be fired. Pass that message on, far, wide, and up and down the chain-of-command.”
Added Malkin, “If this White House thought Tea Party activists were an ‘angry mob,’ wait until they see the backlash from 9/11 family members and their supporters nationwide. We’re not going to sit down and shut up about the reckless, security-undermining Obama 9/10 agenda and conflict-of-interest-ridden AG Eric Holder.”