US considering other sites for 9/11 trials -source

By Jeremy Pelofsky

WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (BestGrowthStock) – Under intense bipartisan
pressure, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is considering
alternative sites to New York City for prosecuting the accused
plotters of the Sept. 11 attacks amid concerns about security
and costs, an administration official said on Friday.

The Obama administration has been harshly criticized for
plans to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four of his alleged
co-conspirators a few blocks from where the World Trade Center
twin towers stood because of worries about security and the
potential impact on businesses in the area.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier this week
reversed his support for holding the trials in the heart of
Manhattan and he was quickly joined in his opposition by
others.

Bloomberg has estimated the cost of security for the trial
to be at least $200 million a year and has asked the Obama
administration to pick up the tab.

It was not immediately clear what other venues would be
considered and while Bloomberg suggested holding the trial on a
military base, one U.S. official has said that no terrorism
trials had been held outside of a federal courthouse.

Republicans and even some of President Barack Obama’s
fellow Democrats have ramped up pressure in recent weeks
against the planned criminal trials for the alleged Sept. 11
suspects, urging that they be tried in military tribunals
instead.

In addition to security concerns, some lawmakers — as well
as some relatives of the almost 3,000 people who were killed in
the Sept. 11 attacks — have said the defendants could use the
criminal courts as soapboxes to propagate their anti-American
beliefs and turn the trials into a media circus.

However, Holder testified to Congress last year that the
judges who will preside over the trials will be able to prevent
Mohammed from turning them into a circus.

Administration officials have also repeatedly pointed to
past terrorism trials held in U.S. courts with little
difficulty and said going that route has been largely the
practice since the Sept. 11 attacks.

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(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

US considering other sites for 9/11 trials -source