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9/11 Mastermind to Face Military Tribunal

by Chiara Wegener
Twin Towers on 9/11
Marc AuMarc, flickr

In a major reversal, the Obama administration has ordered that the self-described mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, face a military tribunal and not a civilian courtroom in New York City.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be referred to a military commssion, along with four other co-conspirators of the attacks. The decision is a switch from an earlier plan to try the alleged plotters in a civilian court in New York City.

The Obama administration's decision comes after Congress imposed restrictions halting the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees into the United States. An earlier plan sought to try the five alleged plotters in a civilian federal court in New York City.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he thinks it's best that Khalid Sheik Mohammed be tried in a high security environment like Guantanamo.

"While we would've provided the security if we had to in New York City, being spared the expense is good for us," Bloomberg said Monday at a news conference in the Bronx.

Republican leaders had argued that the 9/11 suspects could pose a safety risk to New York City residents. Attorney General Holder said the U.S. government cannot afford to wait any longer in bringing the five men to justice.


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