U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, today testified at the New York City Council hearing on the Obama Administration's plan to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the admitted mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and four of his fellow conspirators in lower Manhattan. During the hearing, convened by Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr., chair of the Public Safety Committee, Ranking Member King issued the following statement:
"President Obama's decision to transfer Khalid Sheik Mohammed and the others from Guantanamo to New York City for trial in civilian federal court is one of the most irresponsible decisions ever made by any president. These terrorists don't belong in lower Manhattan, mere blocks from Ground Zero, City Hall, NYPD headquarters and the Brooklyn Bridge. President Obama's decision to transfer them to New York City for trial creates an enormous, unnecessary terror risk to the people who already live and work downtown. The director of the Federal Protective Service -- charged with protecting the courthouse -- recently told the Committee on Homeland Security that he does not even have the resources to properly secure federal facilities related to the trials while performing its normal duties.
"Most inexcusable of all was Attorney General Eric Holder's failure to consult with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly or any other law enforcement official in New York State prior to announcing the President's decision to hold the 9/11 trials in lower Manhattan.
"We should all be working together to keep terrorists out of New York City, not move them into New York City. I am honored to be in the company of Governor David Patterson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Commissioner Kelly, Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr., the families of the 9/11 victims, and countless other New Yorkers and Americans as I continue to work to convince President Obama to reverse this terrible decision once and for all.
"In April 2009, when I first heard of the possibility of this dangerous decision, I contacted Attorney General Holder urging the Administration not to follow through, a request that was ignored. Last month, I introduced, the Stopping Criminal Trials for Guantanamo Terrorists Act (H.R. 4542), a bill which has gained bipartisan support and will stop the NYC trial for these and other Guantanamo terrorists and require that they be tried in military commissions. This is a fight which I will continue."