New Haven Considered for 9/11 Trial: Report | NBC Connecticut

New Haven Considered for 9/11 Trial: Report

Lawmakers, residents react to possible move

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his cronies are headed to New York for trial, or possible Connecticut.

    Talk that the trial for the alleged 9/11 mastermind could move to New Haven is stirring up heated reactions. Connecticut lawmakers and New Haven residents feel the same - not here, not now, not ever.

    911 Trial Moving to New Haven?

    [HAR] 911 Trial Moving to New Haven?
    The Federal Government is considering moving the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed out of New York and possibly to New Haven. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010)

    On Friday, two Obama administration officials spoke to the New York Post on condition of anonymity and said the U.S. Department of Justice is coming up with alternate locations for Khalid Sheik Mohammend's trial.

    Top of the list is Otisville, in upstate New York, a federal penitentiary where terrorists could be housed, the Post reported. Other possibilities include White Plains, N.Y., and New Haven, C.T.

    "Holding terrorism trials in major cities or any cities will significantly increase the risk of terrorist attacks," said Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

    Lieberman is so against the idea that he's backing legislation to cut off funding for the federal trial. He said the Department of Homeland Security would have to spend $200 million protecting the city hosting the trial, and Al Qaeda could use the location to lure potential new recruits.

    Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Rob Simmons echoed Lieberman's sentiments."We don’t want those murderers here they don’t deserve a civilian trial," he said.

    Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who recently threw his hat in the Senate race agrees, giving his opinion on where the trial should be, "I believe our civilian courts have the ability to try and convict individuals of the most serious crimes in this instance I believe that a military tribunal is a more appropriate forum," he said.

    Another group with strong opinions to holding the trial right across the street from the New Haven Green are the people who spend most of their time here - New Haven's working class.

    "I think its still too fresh in peoples minds here I think it needs to be somewhere more removed if there is such a place," said Nancy Conn.

    "That would be right next to my building and it seems a little scary. It does hit a little close to home for a lot of people and a lot of families in this area so I think it would be hard," another resident Emily Fenton said.

    Jessica Mayorga, a spokesman for Mayor John DeStefano, told the Connecticut Post that federal officials had not contacted the city about moving the trial to the Elm City.

    "The mayor's feeling is if the federal government wants to have that conversation, they can contact us," she told the newspaper.

    Two years ago, a terrorism suspect was tried in that court, the Connecticut Post reports. 

    The White House denied to the New York Post that they have made any decision to move the trial from NYC.