Obama seeks $200M to help cities host 9/11 trials
(AP) - The Obama administration is proposing a $200million fund to help pay for security costs in cities hosting thetrials of accused terrorists such as Sept. 11 mastermind KhalidSheikh Mohammed.
A congressional aide familiar with the plan says the money willbe included in the president's budget being release Monday. Theaide spoke on condition of anonymity because the spending blueprinthasn't been announced.
The administration said late last year the trials would takeplace in federal court in lower Manhattan, near where the WorldTrade Center once stood. But there's growing opposition from thecity, and it now seems likely that the White House will decide tohold the trial elsewhere.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has put the cost of tighter security at$216 million just for the first year after Mohammed and the otherswere to arrive from the U.S. military detention center atGuantanamo Bay, Cuba. New York City officials had warned of massivegridlock in lower Manhatten due to the extraordinary security stepsthat would have been required to host the trial.
The money for terrorist trials is just one piece of a $3.7trillion or so budget plan for 2011 to be released Monday.
Options for alternative trial sites include the northernVirginia city of Alexandria, which hosted the 2006 sentencing trialof Zacarias Moussaoui, who pled guilty to helping plan the 9/11attacks.
Congress has yet to provide the $100 million sought by thePentagon to implement Obama's request to shutter the Guantanamofacility and has imposed restrictions on tranferring its detaineesinto the U.S. - except to stand trial.