WCBS 880 9/11 Series: Attorney General Eric Holder And Terrorist Trials
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) - Ten years after the fiery collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11, Lower Manhattan came close to becoming an armed camp once again.
WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Story
But it was in April of this year when, after 507 days of legal wrangling and community uproar, Attorney General Eric Holder finally bit the bullet.
He reversed the administration’s decision to hold civilian trials in Manhattan federal court for the self-proclaimed September 11th mastermind Khalid-Sheik Mohammed and his co-defendants.
Holder made the decision with great reluctance.
He blamed Congress for tying his hands, but failed to mention Lower Manhattan’s Community Board No. 1, and its president, Julie Menin, who helped to force his hand.
She began leading protests after the police department revealed that the trial would cost $200 million a year for the extraordinary security involved.
“Anytime you’re spending $200 million a year in security and anytime that they’re proposing having 2,000 checkpoints it just doesn’t make sense,” Menin told WCBS 880 reporter Irene Cornell. “There are checkpoints around the New York Stock Exchange and Park Row and it basically has meant that most of the small businesses around that area have closed as a result.”
“But in terms of advocacy, generally you need to propose a solution in order to win on an issue. So, I thought it was very important that we not just criticize having the trial downtown, but that we actually offer a number of solutions to get the trial moved,” said Menin.
But now, there will be no civilian trial.
Khalid-Sheik Mohammed and his four alleged co-conspirators will be tried by a military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay.
Where do you think Khalid-Sheik Mohammed should be put in trial? Sound off in the comments section below.