Homeland Security chairman wanted to hear 'once and for all' about terror trials

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee blasted President Obama for not using his State of the Union speech to address the contentious issue of where to hold trials for suspected terrorists.

“I had hoped to hear the president tell the American people, once and for all, that he has abandoned his plan to hold trials for 9/11 terrorists in New York or anywhere else in the United States,” said Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.). “Unfortunately, he failed to make this commitment.”

King’s comments come as a federal judge in New York City on Tuesday sentenced Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani to life in prison for participating in the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa.

With the government’s successful prosecution of Ghailani, Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to make an announcement soon on where the plotters of September 11, 2001 attacks will be tried. Holder said Tuesday’s verdict was proof that federal courts could be a viable venue for suspected terrorists.

“Hundreds of individuals have now been convicted in federal court of terrorism or terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001,” said Holder in a statement. “As this case demonstrates, we will not rest in bringing to justice terrorists who seek to harm the American people, and we will use every tool available to the government to do so.”

King also called again for Obama to develop a detailed security plan for the U.S.-Mexico border, as he did when the administration announced it would be discontinuing the $1 billion Secure Border Initiative (SBInet) plan earlier this month.

“After hearing the President make but one cursory mention of border security, while at the same time promote amnesty, I am even more convinced that the Obama administration simply lacks a sense of urgency when it comes to securing our borders,” said King. “The Obama administration must promptly present the people of this country with a comprehensive plan to secure our borders.”