White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, has stated that alleged September 11th conspirator, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will likely face the death penalty. Interviewed on CNN’s “State of the Union,” show, Gibbs said: “Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is going to meet justice and he’s going to meet his maker. He will be brought to justice and he’s likely to be executed for the heinous crimes he committed.” Gibbs did not confirm if New York City is out as the location of Mohammed’s trial.
Support has recently waned for the trial to be held in New York due in part to the attempted Christmas Day Bombing. New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, at one time supported the decision to have the trials near Ground Zero but stated this week security and financial costs would be too burdensome. Another critic of holding the trials in New York City, Senator Diane Feinstein (chairman of the Senate Intelligence committee), wrote a letter to President stating her concern over an attack. “Without getting into classified details, I believe we should view the attempted Christmas Day plot as a continuation, not an end, of plots to strike the United States by al-Qaeda and its affiliates,” Feinstein said. “Moreover, New York City has been a high-priority target since at least the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. The trial of the most significant terrorist in custody would add to the threat.”
The White House is considering holding the trials in the Eastern District of Virginia or bringing a federal court onto a military base.