Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued the following statement today in response to the decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to grant a civilian criminal trial to 9/11 terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) and other 9/11 terrorists in New York City:
The decision to bring Mohammed and other Al Qaeda terrorists to New York for a civilian criminal trial is not Eric Holder's to make. President Obama is the commander in chief and he is ultimately responsible for the safety and security of this county.
President Obama already reversed Holder on the release of prisoner abuse photos on national security grounds and he should reverse Holder now in the interest of national security. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should remain in military custody, be kept outside the United States and be brought to justice in the military tribunal system.
An unprecedented civilian trial for the 9/11 terrorists will harm our national security, place government officials and civilians at risk, and provide a propaganda platform to rally and recruit terrorists. And it is no small risk that civilian criminal proceeding may result in the release of these terrorists onto American soil. No one elected Eric Holder to make these types of national security decisions. Eric Holder is making a dangerous mistake, and the President needs to act to protect the country and overrule the Attorney General.
Judicial Watch is representing a 9/11 victim in various litigation. And with respect to the military tribunal process, in 2008, Judicial Watch was selected by the Pentagon to monitor the arraignments at Guantanamo Bay of the five terrorist prisoners who are now set to be brought to New York.
In August, Judicial Watch obtained a CIA report entitled, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad: Preeminent Source on Al Qa'ida, which documented the information gained by interrogations of Mohammed: "KSM's decade-long career as a terrorist, during which he met with a broad range of Islamic extremists from around the world, has made him a key source of information on numerous al Qa'ida operatives and other mujahidin. He has provided intelligence that has led directly to the capture of operatives or fleshed out our understanding of the activities of important detainees, which in turn assisted in the debriefings of these individuals." This document was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.