The Obama administration’s decision to try five Sept. 11 suspects in federal court in Manhattan is a “mistake” that’s inappropriate for combating terrorism, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said.
Giuliani said moving Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and four others from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to New York for civilian trials will create additional costs and security concerns for the city. The White House plan is politically motivated, said Giuliani, New York’s mayor during the attacks, in interviews on “Fox News Sunday” and CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The Democratic administration’s plan, announced by Attorney General Eric Holder, marks a shift from the Republican Bush administration’s antiterrorism strategy. Bush officials created military tribunals for the Guantanamo Bay prisoners, a process that was criticized by Democrats. Obama also is moving to close the prison in Cuba and relocate the detainees.
The decision of the Obama White House shows that “the war on terror in their point of view is over,” Giuliani told Fox. “There seems to be an overconcern with the rights of terrorists.”
White House senior adviser David Axelrod defended the decision, saying that “we believe that these folks should be tried in New York City, as you say near where their heinous acts were conducted.”