Senator Flanagan Sponsors Resolution Calling On Obama Administration To Move Terror Trials

John J. Flanagan

February 22, 2010

In an effort to protect New York residents, Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced that he recently sponsored a Senate resolution calling on the Obama administration to reverse its decision to conduct the 9/11 terror trial in New York.  The resolution was passed overwhelmingly by the Senate during a recent vote.

The decision to move the trials of Al  Qaida terrorists Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammed Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul-Aziz Ali, and  Mustafa Ahmed  Al  Hawsawi to the civilian courts in lower Manhattan was announced by United States Attorney General Eric Holder in late 2009.

Since all five men have been directly linked to the attacks of September  11, 2001,  which resulted in the deaths of nearly three thousand people, placing the trial right near the site of the terror attacks would create a long list of logistic and economic issues for the city and the state.  The cost and the accompanying disruption of the area led Senator Flanagan to push to have the trials transferred out of the area.

According to numerous published reports, the Obama administration is still considering conducting the trial in New York City despite a public outcry and President Obama has refused to commit to moving the trail out of New York.

The resolution also calls on the federal government to hold these trials in military commission tribunals instead of in federal civilian court as the Obama administration is currently proposing.  By affording these three men the same constitutional rights as enjoyed by the very American citizens who were their targets, allowing the trial in civilian courts would be an injustice to everyone who suffered a loss in the attacks of September 11th, 2001.

“The residents of our state deserve to be protected from this safety and economic hardship and I hope President Obama will reverse this decision immediately.  Conducting these trials in the very same place where terrorists carried out their heinous act is an affront to all of us and would have a very real impact on the everyday lives of those who live and work in the area.  It is unnecessary and it needs to be changed,” stated Senator Flanagan.

New Yorkers who wish to join the call should click here to sign the online petition.

Senate Resolution No. 3889


URGING  the  Federal  Government  to  reverse  its
decision  to  hold  civilian  trials  of  terrorists
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammed Salih Mubarak
Bin  Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul-Aziz Ali,
and Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsawi  in  Manhattan  federal

WHEREAS,  Throughout  the  course  of our nation's history, from the
time of George Washington to the present  day,  the  United  States  has
recognized that these terrorists, captured with the intent to attack the
United  States,  its  people  and/or  its interests, and which present a
serious and immediate threat to the nation and its people, should not be
afforded the same constitutional criminal justice  protections  reserved
for United States citizens; and

WHEREAS,  Attempting  to  apply  the  same  constitutional  criminal
justice protections reserved for United States citizens, and  attempting
to  apply  the  principles  of  our civilian courts to these terrorists,
which have openly espoused, planned and/or conducted acts of  terrorism,
war  and  mass  murder  and  destruction  against the United States, its
people and/or its interests,  is  contradictory  to  the  rules  of  war
followed by our soldiers during the capture of these individuals, and is
inherently   inapplicable  to  the  prosecution  and  administration  of
justice; and

WHEREAS,   Permitting   these   terrorists   to   enjoy   the   same
constitutional  criminal  justice protections reserved for United States
citizens, and awarding them the rules and  procedures  of  our  civilian
federal  courts,  will  place  a  great  risk on our nation's most vital
intelligence information, offer a platform for the inspiration of hatred
of the United States, and encourage fellow terrorists to commit  further
acts of war and violence against this nation and this state; and

WHEREAS,  The means necessary to be employed to effectively stop the
activities of these terrorists before they  fulfill  their  missions  to
espouse,  plan  and  conduct  acts of terrorism, war and mass murder and
destruction against the United States, its people and/or its  interests,
are  not  consistent with the means to afford these individuals the same
constitutional criminal justice protections reserved for  United  States
citizens,  or to obtain a successful prosecution of these individuals in
a civilian federal criminal court; and

WHEREAS, Despite these issues, in February 2009, the  United  States
Department   of  Justice,  stayed  the  prosecution  before  a  military
commission tribunal, of five of the most infamous, dangerous and devoted
Al Qaida terrorists in world  history,  Khalid  Sheikh  Mohammed,  Walid
Muhammed  Salih  Mubarak  Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul-Aziz
Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsawi; and

WHEREAS, The Government of the United States of America announced on
November 13, 2009, through U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder,  plans  to
prosecute  avowed  Al  Qaida  terrorists  Khalid  Sheikh Mohammed, Walid
Muhammed Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al  Shibh,  Ali  Abdul-Aziz

Ali,  and  Mustafa  Ahmed  Al Hawsawi in federal district court in lower
Manhattan; and

WHEREAS,  All  of  these  avowed  terrorists  to be so prosecuted in
federal court have been directly linked to the attacks of September  11,
2001,  which  saw the deaths of nearly three thousand people on New York
soil; and

WHEREAS, The proposed location of this trial, in the very shadow  of
where  the  World  Trade Center once stood, and in the heart of New York
City's  financial  and  commercial  district,  poses  unacceptable   and
significant risk, harm and threat to the safety and security of millions
of Americans and New Yorkers residing and working in the vicinity of the
federal district courthouse in Manhattan; and

WHEREAS,  The  risk,  potential harm, threat and danger that will be
brought to New York State and New York  City  and  its  citizens,  as  a
result  of  the  federal  government's  decision  to  give  these avowed
terrorists a civilian trial in federal district court in Manhattan  will
cause  New  York  City, New York State and its citizens to bear not only
the huge burden of such risk, potential harm,  threat  and  danger,  but
also  bear,  in  the midst of a deep economic recession and state fiscal
crisis, an unprecedented security cost, which officials  have  estimated
could reach nearly $1 billion; and

WHEREAS, It is further contemplated that these trials will cause the
State  of  New York, the City of New York and its citizens, many of whom
experienced the horrific events  of  September  11,  2001,  first  hand,
further   unprecedented   disturbance,  emotional  trauma  and  economic
hardship, with the institution of required security  measures  by  state
and local law enforcement agencies which would need to be taken in lower
Manhattan  for  a  period  which  has  been estimated to be years before
completion of such trials; and

WHEREAS, New York Governor David A. Paterson, New  York  City  Mayor
Michael   Bloomberg,  Julie  Menin,  Chairwoman  of  Community  Board  1
(representing the neighborhoods surrounding the federal  courthouse  for
lower  Manhattan),  have all expressed serious concern and opposition to
the federal government's plan to prosecute these  avowed  terrorists  in
New  York  City and cause undue and unprecedented financial hardship and
burden on the people and law enforcement agencies in the  State  of  New
York  and  its  political subdivisions in and around New York City; now,
therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That President Barack  Obama  and  Attorney  General  Eric
Holder  are  hereby  strongly  urged by this Legislative Body to reverse
their decision to prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammed Salih
Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul-Aziz Ali, and  Mustafa
Ahmed  Al  Hawsawi  in  federal  district  court  in Manhattan, over the
objections of our state  and  local  government  officials;  and  be  it

RESOLVED,  That  copies  of  this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to  President  Barack  Obama,  U.S.  Attorney  General  Eric
Holder, and all members of the New York State Congressional delegation.