Theodore's World: Western Pennsylvania Could Host 9/11 Terror Trial

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February 02, 2010

Western Pennsylvania Could Host 9/11 Terror Trial

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Western Pennsylvania could host 9/11 terror trial

By Salena Zito and Brian Bowling

Pittsburgh Live.....TRIBUNE-REVIEW

Politicians began lining up Friday against a potential trial of 9/11 terror suspects in Western Pennsylvania, where one of the hijacked airliners crashed.

"Although we are not dead set against it, we would have to hear two things," Gov. Ed Rendell said after New York's top police official said he thinks the trial won't take place there. "First, why it would be safer for Western Pennsylvania than for New York City; and second, what portion of the cost for security and other things would the federal government absorb?"

The Obama administration is drafting plans to move out of Manhattan the trials of professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged accomplices, two administration officials said.

"As Pennsylvania directly experienced part of the attack on September 11th, we are acutely interested in seeing the perpetrators brought to justice," said Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato. "However, the last thing Pennsylvania needs is a terrorist trial that raises security concerns and places even more of a burden on our taxpayers."

The Sixth Amendment dictates that civilian trials for the suspects must be held in one of the areas where planes crashed Sept. 11, 2001, according to Bruce Antkowiak, a law professor at Duquesne University. That leaves the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of Virginia -- the location of the Pentagon -- or the Western District of Pennsylvania, which includes Somerset County, where United Flight 93 crashed.

"The presumption is the trial should take place in the district that the crime was committed," Antkowiak said.
Mary Beth Buchanan, the former U.S. attorney for Western Pennsylvania, said holding the trial in this district would be expensive and drain resources.
"It's impossible to predict how long this trial might take," she said, noting the complicated charges. It would tie up U.S. marshals who protect courtrooms, she said.
"It would be outrageous to put the financial burden of these trials on the citizens of Western Pennsylvania," Buchanan said.
Sens. Bob Casey Jr. and Arlen Specter said they had no information the trial would move to Pennsylvania, but they oppose the idea and told the Obama administration.
"Mayor Bloomberg has given good reasons why the trial should not be held in New York City, and that same reasoning would apply for Pennsylvania as well," said Specter, D-Philadelphia.
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl would have similar concerns, his spokeswoman said.
"The same ones outlined by Mayor Mike Bloomberg -- that the trial could put our citizens in danger, as well as the exorbitant costs associated with the trial, something that we could not withstand," spokeswoman Joanna Doven said.
Hosting such a high-profile trial poses a slew of security challenges, from international terrorist organizations seeking to disrupt it to domestic hate groups, said Danny Defenbaugh, a security consultant and 33-year veteran of the FBI. The threats remain the same no matter where the trial takes place, he said.
"An example that is much less magnified is when we moved the Oklahoma City bombing trial from Oklahoma City to Denver," Defenbaugh said. "We still had the same types of hate groups (to guard against). It didn't matter to them whether we were in Oklahoma City or St. Louis, Mo."

Moving the trial would be a setback for President Obama. His administration spent weeks defending its handling of terror threats after the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner, which reignited the debate about whether terror suspects should face civilian or military justice.

Obama long has supported trying some terrorists in federal, civilian court, while Republicans argue terrorists should be tried in military tribunals where other Guantanamo Bay detainees will be judged.


Wild Thing's comment.......

This is yet another stupid idea.

When right or reason demands a definite course of action, you can be sure that the marxist/democRATS will most certainly do anything but that.

Posted by Wild Thing at February 2, 2010 05:50 AM


Well you will remember what James Carvelle said about Pennsylvania, "you have Phillidelphia in the East and Pittsburgh in the West, in between is Alabama." So for their own safety they ought to give them to the Military, would be cheaper too.

But all kidding aside, this whole idea of a Civilian trial, where Terrorists are given Constitutional freedoms, what are the chances of them getting 'Bail' or an acquittal. This is an extremely stupid move by obama and ilk.

Pittsburgh has few of the resources of New York City and a hell of a lot less money. At least our Dimwitted Senators are against it...So far. They can probably be bribed, where Harry Reid with the bag of money.

Posted by: Mark at February 2, 2010 08:49 AM

I'm going to solve this problem once and for all. The trials if there are to be trials should be held in the White House. With the Yubamas staying in the same building, an al Queada revenge rocket would solve all of our problems.

Posted by: Eddie (Enemy of the State) at February 2, 2010 10:01 AM

My two least favorite US Marines are Lee Harvey Oswald and Rep. Murtha, eh? Leave it to MR. ED II - Horses *ss Gov. ED RENDELL to profit from 9-11-01, eh?

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at February 2, 2010 10:41 AM

I hope that everyone noticed that the lawyer said that trial must take place where the crime occured but the Crime of These people committed was conspiring war against America in the Middle East. The people who hijacked the planes are all dead. So we take these pig lovers back and we execute them within eyesight of binlaudins hidy hole.

Posted by: Avitar at February 2, 2010 12:40 PM

Mark, I had forgotten that quote by James Carvelle , thanks. Yes I am glad to see those that speak up about not wanting it there.

Eddie, good one. "should be held in the White House". They want it so bad, let them put up with the terrorists.

Darth, wish they could have kicked those two out of the Marines. Not to late to kick Murtha out asap.

Avitar, I noticed that too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 3, 2010 12:38 AM