White House still wants terror suspects tried in New York federal court

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday that the despite reports of mulling new locations to try 9/11 terrorism suspects, the administration still very much wants Khalid Sheikh Mohammed tried in the Big Apple.

"He's going to meet justice," Gibbs said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday morning. "He's going to meet his maker. He's likely to be executed" for the "heinous" crimes of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Mohammed has claimed he was the al-Qaeda mastermind behind the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

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When pressed about the location of the trial, as the plan to try KSM in Manhattan has drawn fire from many New Yorkers and Republicans, Gibbs said Attorney General Eric Holder felt that the "best place" to try 9/11 suspects would be in an "American courtroom."

"We are talking with the authorities in New York," Gibbs said. "We understand their logistical concerns and their security concerns that are involved."

"We want to see this man tried and brought to justice in the place where this crime was committed," Gibbs said.

Also on CNN, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) predicted that the plan to try terrorist suspects in civilian court wouldn't fly, noting that even though the White House used the Bush administration as precedent for such trials it was a "mistake" by the Bush White House that shouldn't be repeated.

"I think any community is going to obejct in the same way that New York finally did," McConnell said.


When asked whether he would support a funding block -- such as the one to be introduced this week by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), on using federal money to try 9/11 suspects in civilian courts -- to prevent the New York trial from proceeding, McConnell responded "absolutely."

"And I think that will be done on a bipartisan basis" as the popular support for the administration's trial plans is "totally collapsing," McConnell said.

This post was updated at 9:45 a.m.