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Moving Khalid Shaikh Mohammad's Trial out of NewYork is a Terrible Idea

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On Friday, the Obama administration decided to move the trial of the 9/11 plotters out of New York City. A new venue has not been determined. Supposedly, Justice Department officials were considering "prison complexes" and "military bases".

This is a terrible idea and sends the wrong message. The trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, (the admitted 20th attacker and mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attack), as well as four other accused 9/11 plotters, is a civilian trial. The attacks occurred primarily in New York City. This was a terrorist, criminal act against civilians, not a military attack.

Their offenses didn't occur while they were imprisoned. Mohammed and the others were not of any official military organization authorized by a government acting in an official military capacity and conducting military operations. As with all terrorism, the acts that terrorist's commit, whether they are against military targets (soldiers or base installations) or against civilians in whatever manner or tactic they use, are criminal acts.1

To be sure, there are security concerns, because of the high profile nature of such a trial, particularly in New York City. But by moving it out of the city, it says there is more anxiety over a "possible" retaliatory attack by other terrorists (whether aligned with Mohammed or at least with his ideas) than there is in bravely defying jihadi extremists and bringing them to justice for what they did and in the city that received the most devastation and suffered the loss of more innocent lives. This is a cowardly move, done out of fear. It is also a political move by the Obama administration, too concerned about potential Republican verbal assaults, should a terrorist attack occur, particularly if the trial were held in New York City.

We must not run scared of terrorists. Their intention is to sow fear in people and get our government to overreact in reprisals against them and justify our wars and occupations in Islamic countries. These actions play right into the hands of al Qaeda and their assorted (though mostly unaligned) allies.

Again, terrorists' acts are criminal. When suspected terrorists are apprehended (using intelligence gathered through legal means, cooperation with our allies, and utilizing approved interrogation methods and not "enhanced interrogation", i.e., torture), most suspects can be charged, brought to trial, convicted, and imprisoned if found guilty.

When the world's peoples see proper justice exercised, it will be recognized and supported by them. It is injustice that they clearly recognize and will not support and resist.

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