Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani blasted the Obama administration on Friday for its decision to try five Sept. 11 suspects in New York, saying that such a trial would only encourage terrorists to target the city once again.
Earlier Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba would be transported onto U.S. soil to face justice in civilian court.
“After eight years of delay, those allegedly responsible for that attacks of September the 11th will finally face justice,” Holder said. “They will be brought to New York – to New York – to answer for their alleged crimes in a courthouse just blocks away from where the twin towers once stood.”
Giuliani, who was mayor of New York City at the time of the attacks, slammed the decision during an appearance on Fox News.
“I think this is a very dangerous decision, and an irresponsible one. And one that is absolutely unnecessary. Meaning, if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed couldn’t be tried anywhere else but in New York, then of course New York would handle it and do it,” he said.
“New York is already a target for terrorists – we announce that every day and talk about it every day. To add something unnecessary to that makes no sense, and the president has made, I believe, an irresponsible decision.”
Other Republicans, like Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, and Rep. Peter King of New York, agreed with Giuliani, who said 9/11 “was an act of war. And one of the things I thought we learned from Sept. 11 was that we were in a state of denial before Sept. 11. We went through this once before – 1993. We had people, terrorists, attack the World Trade Center. We did not recognize it as an act of war. We tried them in the Southern District of New York. It did no good. We were attacked in Africa, we were attacked at those embassies in Africa, we were attacked on the USS Cole and then we had the worst attack in our history.
“And I hoped and prayed from that day on it would be the last Islamic terrorist attack in our history. And it was not the last, because a week ago we had another Islamic terrorist attack on our soil,” said Giuliani, referring to the shooting spree at Ford Hood, Texas, that left 13 people dead. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged in the attack, reportedly shouted “Allahu akbar!” (Arabic for “God is great!”) as he started shooting.
“Why this administration has trouble figuring that out when the man yelled out ‘Allahu akbar’ when he was murdering people – as a former prosecutor I find frighteningly incompetent,” Giuliani said.