Heated Debate Over Terrorist's NYC Trial Continues

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The decision to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who confessed to being the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 attacks, in New York City has sparked fierce debate.
At the heart of that debate is whether our legal system can adequately prosecute terror suspects in a civilian court.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said the decision to send Mohammed to Manhattan to face trial, blocks away from Ground Zero, puts the city's security at risk with no guarantee of a guilty verdict.

"I'm troubled by the symbolism of it, also," said Giuliani. "It seems to me that the Obama administration is getting away from the fact that we're at war with these terrorists."
And the criticism doesn't end there.

For more on this debate, click play for comments from terrorism expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross.

"They're going to do everything they can to disrupt it and make it a circus, and allow them to use it as a platform to push their ideology," said Republican Rep. Peter Hoekstra.

Democrats are defending the decision.
"We're the most powerful nation on earth," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D. Vt. "We have a judicial system that is the envy of the world. Let's show the world that we can use that power. We can use our judicial system, just as we did with Timothy McVeigh."

Moving the case from military tribunals to the criminal justice system poses major challenges.  Experts say because CIA officers waterboarded Mohammed, some of that evidence could be thrown out.
Critics also worry that the case could compromise top secret information.

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John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/John.V.Jessup.