Lieberman: Bringing terror suspects to U.S. for trial 'inconceivable'

It is "inconceivable" that the U.S. would bring the alleged terrorist masterminds of the Sept. 11 attacks to New York for trial, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Friday.

Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said that the terror detainees, including alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, should be tried in military tribunals outside the U.S.

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“The terrorists who planned, participated in and aided the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks are war criminals, not common criminals," Lieberman said in a statement. "The individuals accused of committing these heinous, cowardly acts of intentionally targeting unsuspecting, defenseless civilians should therefore be tried by military commission rather than in civilian courts in the United States.”

Lieberman, an Independent who caucuses with Democrats but maintains a hawkish streak on national security issues, said that the terrorist suspects are not entitled to the same rights as U.S. citizens in court.

"I share the views of more than 140 family members of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks who recently wrote to the Senate urging that the individuals charged with responsibility for those attacks should be tried by military commission rather than in civilian courts in the United States," Lieberman said. "It is inconceivable that we would bring these alleged terrorists back to New York for trial, to the scene of the carnage they created eight years ago, and give them a platform to mock the suffering of their victims and the victims’ families, and rally their followers to continue waging jihad against America.”

Lieberman voted with Republicans last week on a losing vote seeking to bar U.S. courts from trying terrorist detainees.