Trial for 9-11 defendants unlikely to be held in New York
The trial of five al-Qaeda suspects accused of plotting the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, is unlikely to be held in New York, according to a US newspaper report Saturday.
The Washington Post report quoted an official as saying, "New York is out." Another senior government official however said there was as yet no formal decision, but the Justice Department was seeking alternative locations, dpa reported.
Earlier media reports said the White House was considering whether to move the trial the because of opposition to holding it in New York.
President Barack Obama's administration announced in November that the trial of the admitted mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four co-defendants would be held in a federal court in Manhattan, just blocks from the former site of the destroyed World Trade Center.
But the administration has faced increasing resistance to the plan, which intensified on Thursday when New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he opposed the trial in his city because of the high costs it would place on New York taxpayers.
The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, warned, in a letter to Obama, of a New York trial raising the possibility of attacks.
According to officials, the trial would involve around 35 inmates from the US' Guantanamo prison facing civil or military court.
Washington plans to purchase a maximum-security prison in the state of Illinois to house the inmates after the facility at Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba, closes.
According to the Washington Post, the funds for the prison in the town of Thomson still had to be authorized.