- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 235 Hour
- Reading permission
9/11 mastermind will be executed - Obama|
A TOUGH-TALKING President Barack Obama went on the offensive today, saying that accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be convicted and executed.
Mr Obama also defended US Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to put the terrorist and his cohorts on trial in Manhattan, just blocks from the World Trade Center site.
In interviews with NBC and CNN during his trip to Asia this week, Mr Obama said those offended by the legal privileges afforded to Mohammed by granting him a civilian trial, rather than a military one, won’t find it “offensive at all when he’s convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him”.
The interviews come as a new Quinnipiac poll released today shows Mr Obama's job approval rating slipping under 50 per cent - at 48 per cent - for the first time since he took office in January.
Mr Holder announced his decision last Saturday to bring Mohammed and four others detained at Guantanamo Bay to trial in the city.
Mr Obama said his comments are not meant to prejudge the outcome of Mohammed’s trial, which is expected to take place in Manhattan federal court.
“I’m not going to be in that courtroom. That’s the job of the prosecutors, the judge and the jury," he said.
Meanwhile, at a Senate judiciary hearing this morning in Washington, Mr Holder defended his decision.
“I have every confidence that the nation and the world will see him for the coward that he is,” Mr Holder told the committee. “I’m not scared of what Khalid Sheik Mohammed has to say at trial - and no one else needs to be either.”
Mr Holder's critics, mostly Republican lawmakers, have argued the trial would give Mohammed a world stage to spout his anti-American rhetoric.
Opponents of the plan, including Mr Holder’s predecessor Michael Mukasey and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have accused him of adopting a “pre-9/11” approach to combating terrorism.
But Mr Holder said the public and the nation’s intelligence secrets can be protected during a public trial in a civilian court.
“We need not cower in the face of this enemy,” he said. "Our institutions are very strong, our infrastructure is sturdy, our resolve is firm and our people are ready.”