Washington — President Barack Obama said Sunday he has not ruled out a New York federal court trial for Sept. 11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, but he was taking into account the objections of the city’s mayor and police commissioner.
The Obama administration has come under withering attack, mainly from Republicans, for a decision by his Justice Department to try the terrorist mastermind in a U.S. court near Ground Zero, site of the attack that destroyed New York’s World Trade Center.
Obama said using the traditional judicial method was a “virtue of our system” in which Americans should take pride.
He also defended his decision, noting again that the administration of former President George W. Bush had handled terror suspects arrested in the United States in the same way.
“They prosecuted 190 folks in these Article III courts, got convictions and those folks are in maximum security prisons right now. And there have been no escapes,” Obama said. “And it is a virtue of our system we should be proud of.”