New Haven will probably not hold the trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, according to Attorney General Richard Blumenthal LAW ’73.
Blumenthal told the Associated Press Tuesday that he does not anticipate that the trial of Mohammed, who the 9/11 Commission Report called “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks,” will be held in New Haven, due to the level of disruption it would cause in the city.
According to the Associated Press Blumenthal said he spoke with federal officials regarding the matter and he believes they recognize “the cost and inconvenience” of holding the trial in the Elm City.
Some New Haven aldermen interviewed yesterday expressed concerns with the possibility of hosting the trial, including worries about traffic congestion and public safety. Blumenthal also released a statement Tuesday expressing his opinion that the trial should be held in a military tribunal and not a civilian criminal court.
Read his full statement below:
“As Attorney General and a former US Attorney for Connecticut, I have the utmost confidence in our civilian judicial system to try and convict suspected terrorists, as it has done successfully multiple times. But I also believe that military tribunals can serve an important role in prosecuting acts of terrorism, especially crimes committed by enemy combatants attacking our nation.
My belief is that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be tried in a military tribunal. He is an enemy combatant who attacked our nation – a foreign national with training and direction by foreign terrorist groups, supported by foreign governments. The most important goal in his and every prosecution is to effectively try, convict and punish terrorists and enemy combatants, presumably by execution. Other reasons for using a military tribunal in this case relate to admissibility of evidence and protection of secret and valuable intelligence. His horrific terrorist attack – arguably a war crime – is clearly one appropriate for a military tribunal.
As Attorney General of the State, as well as a former federal prosecutor, my view is that individual cases must be assessed on their particular specific facts as the law applies to them. Ultimately, our national interests and security are best served by making such decisions based on facts and law to achieve successful prosecution and the most severe punishment.”