Homeland Security Official Outlines Security Support to the 9/11 Trial
Wednesday, March 03, 2010 at 3:13 pm
One of the major critiques of holding a civilian trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his fellow alleged 9/11 conspirators is that any city hosting the trial becomes a terrorist target. Rand Beers, the undersecretary of Homeland Security who used to be part of Richard Clarke’s crew of 1990s-vintage counterterrorism officials, told me at a forum hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation this afternoon that he’d “be remiss to tell you no, there’s no threat,” particularly after manifested — if unsuccessful — terrorist plots against the U.S. at home from Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Najibullah Zazi emerged. “But can I tell you there’s a specific threat? No.”
That’s not to say the Department of Homeland Security isn’t preparing to lend support to municipal law enforcement. “If the trial is held in a U.S. district courthouse, as currently constructed, we would have an inner ring of the U.S. Marshall Service,” Beers said. “We would have an exterior ring, which would probably involve the Federal Protective Service, and we would have an interagency, intergovernmental task force, which would involve the state or local entity that would be responsible for law enforcement in those areas. And there was certainly discussions with respect to that if the trial were going to be in New York. I can assure you those same discussions are going to take place any other place that that determination is made to locate the trial.”
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