Facing growing opposition to its plans to hold the Sept. 11 terrorist trial in New York City, the Obama administration is considering moving the proceedings elsewhere.
Two administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Friday the Justice Department is drawing up plans for possible alternate locations to try professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged accomplices in case Congress or local officials prevent the trial from being held in Manhattan.The Washington Post reports that Congress may try to block federal criminal trials for detainees:
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) plans to introduce a bill next week that would prohibit funding of a federal trial for Mohammed and other Sept. 11 defendants, in an effort to force the case into a military tribunal. An earlier such legislative effort failed, but a spokesman for Graham said that the senator has been taking the pulse of his colleagues and that "momentum has been building."The same Post article says that the Gitmo jail may stay in operation longer than the administration that wants to shut it down:
The closure of the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is beginning to look like a protracted and uncertain project for the Obama administration as political, legal and security concerns limit the president's options.
Having blown the one-year closure deadline set last January in an executive order, the administration is planning to transfer some detainees to a state prison it hopes to acquire in Illinois. But there appears to be little mood in Congress to provide the administration with either the funding for the prison or the authority to transfer detainees who will be held indefinitely.