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NYC mayor asks federal government to consider moving 9/11 trials

[JURIST] New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg [official website] on Wednesday cited costs and potential disruptions to the lives of New Yorkers in urging the federal government not to try alleged 9/11 conspirator Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [JURIST news archive] and other high-profile terror suspects in New York City. Bloomberg said a military base may be a more appropriate venue [AFP report] for the trial since they are generally in secluded areas, though he said his request was not based on security concerns. Earlier this month Bloomberg claimed [JURIST report] that providing security for the trial in New York would cost the city more than $216 million in the first year and $206 million in any additional years. Bloomberg originally backed the idea of trying some of the terrorists currently held in the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] in Manhattan due to its proximity to ground zero and the symbolic significance of convicting the suspects there.

In November, US Attorney General Eric Holder [official website] appeared before the Senate to defend plans [JURIST reports] to try Mohammed, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh [JURIST news archive], Walid Bin Attash, Ali Abdul-Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsaw in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Earlier in November, the US Senate defeated [JURIST report] an amendment [S AMDT 2669 materials] to an appropriations bill [HR 2847 materials] that would have prevented Guantanamo detainees accused of involvement in 9/11 from being tried in federal courts. In October, US President Barack Obama signed [JURIST report] into law the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2010 [HR 2892 materials], which allows for Guantanamo Bay detainees to be transferred to the US for prosecution and, among other provisions, requires certain information about each transferred detainee to be disclosed to Congress including costs, legal rationales, and possible risks.

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