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'Obama and co. guilty of criminal negligence'

August 30, 2010 08:54 IST

The Obama administration is yet to find a city that is willing to host the terror trials of the five alleged 9/11 plotters, a year after proposing to hold the legal proceedings in Manhattan.

The administration's attempt to buy an unused prison in Thomson, Illinois to relocate the 180 remaining detainees in Guantanamo Bay, which also includes the five conspirators, has also been blocked by the Republicans, the New York Daily News reported.

The newspaper said there was zero political incentive among US politicians to resolve the issue around closing the detention centre, and President Barack Obama was wary of pursuing it before the Congressional elections in the fall.

"It's obvious they're waiting until after the elections," said Representative Peter King, top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee.

"By delaying it, "they're politicising it," King said.

"The Obama administration is guilty of criminal negligence. They've mishandled it from the start," King charged.

Attorney General Eric Holder had wanted to prosecute Al Qaeda's Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 9/11

plot facilitator Ramzi Binalshibh and three other men in New York City.

But the proposal met with great resistance from New Yorkers especially due to the safety hazard and security nightmare it could prove to be.

Further, the trials could last for years and damage the local businesses in the area around the federal courthouse.

As a result, the fate of KSM and his fellow prisoners remains unresolved.

"We are continuing to work to ensure that the 9/11 detainees are tried as expeditiously as possible," the official told The Daily News.

"Our review process is determining what possible venues may be available, and communities willing, to hold a trial. If the defendants are to be tried in a civil court in the US, then the trial would need to take place in one of the three districts that were struck --New York, Pennsylvania or Virginia.

"The prisoners could also be sent back to Guantanamo Bay to be tried by a military court or a military commission somewhere else in the US," the official said.

Betwa Sharma in New York
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