Pressure Mounts to Move Terror Trial


Jan. 28, 2010

Pressure Mounts to Move Terror Trial
Obama Administration Considers Moving Trial of Accused Sept. 11 Mastermind to Remote Location

By Bob Orr

(CBS) Pledging to bring justice to the victims of Sept. 11, Attorney General Eric Holder declared that accused mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would stand trial at the scene of the crime, "in a courthouse just blocks away from where the twin towers once stood."

But with mounting political pressure, the Obama Administration is now strongly considering moving the trial from Manhattan to a more remote location, reports CBS News correspondent Bob Orr.

New York officials say it would cost $200 million a year in police overtime to secure a half square mile zone around the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan. Up to 3,000 barriers would restrict traffic. Sniper teams would be positioned on rooftops with heavily armed police in the streets.

"It would turn that lower Manhattan area basically into an occupation zone," said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. "They would be living under martial law."

So, leaders in both parties have joined New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in pressing the White House to reconsider.

"My hope is that the attorney general and the president decide to change their mind," Bloomberg said.

And public opposition is growing. Retired New York City firefighter Tim Brown can't stand the idea of giving Mohammed a propaganda platform near Ground Zero.

"You are going to allow these scum to mock America, to mock the families, to mock the hero firefighters and policemen and civilian workers who were killed that day?" asked Brown.

Sources say the White House has heard the clamor and is mulling over other options.