NEW YORK, NY -- After marathon negotiations throughout the week with Mayor Bloomberg's office, the Port Authority and New Jersey's Governor Christie, Attorney General Erica Holder's office is expected to make a major announcement on Monday. Sources close to the negotiations have revealed that the announcement will set the site of the civilian trials of the 5 terrorists on New York City's historic Governor's Island located in the middle of New York harbor.
After it was learned that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had already asked to plead guilty before a military commission, and be executed. Most were stunned on Holder's insistence to dismiss the confession and in what senior Republicans claim is a further act of torture for the people of New York hold civilian trials in NYC instead. His decision has been questioned and met with fierce resistance by politicians and local business leaders as well.
New York has been a terror target since first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. As to a location for a civilian trial of terrorists, the major objection to NYC was that it could not be properly secured. Prominent business leaders believe that the trial will do severe economic damage to the city in that the only way to effectively secure New York would be to shut down the city, which would paralyze it and cause terrible damage to its efforts to recover from the recession.
Since 1966 Governor's Island was the Coast Guard's largest installation, serving both as a self-contained residential community, with an on-Island population of approximately 3,500, and as a base of operations for the Atlantic Area Command and Maintenance and Logistics Command as well as the Captain of the Port of New York. In 1995, the Coast Guard closed its facilities on Governors Island and, as of September 1996, all residential personnel were relocated.
The decision to locate the trial to Governor's Island appears to be a compromise, as well as a face-saver for the Attorney General, that could resolve many of the current objections. "Using Governor's Island for the forth coming trial makes sense," says Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. "First it will provide needed construction jobs to renovate the existing facilities. The size of the island and it's remoteness from the city make it an ideal space to secure. Furthermore, we have gotten agreement that access to the island will be by motor launch from Pier A in Jersey City making certain that there will be no traffic generated in lower Manhattan.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was a member of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization, although he lived in Kuwait rather than Afghanistan, heading al-Qaeda's propaganda operations from sometime around 1999. In March 2007, after four years in captivity, including six months of detention and alleged torture at Guantanamo Bay, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - as it was claimed by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal Hearing in Guantanamo Bay - confessed to masterminding the September 11 attacks.
Holder promises that the fair trail will be certain to convict the terrorists and in the name of "fairness" subject each and every one of them to the ultimate penalty.