Report: White House decides to move terror trials

Administration reportedly gives up on plan to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, others, in Manhattan

Published January 30, 2010 3:40AM (EST)

Multiple outlets are reporting tonight that the administration has indeed decided to move the trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and several other suspected terrorists from the Manhattan location they'd originally been slated for.

"New York is out," one anonymous administration official told the Washington Post. "We're considering other options."

Reports that the administration was considering this move began Thursday night, towards the end of a week in which several allies of President Obama and his administration, including New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and some Congressional Democrats, expressed doubt about the wisdom of the plan.

This represents a big political loss for the administration, especially Attorney General Eric Holder, who was the public face of the original decision to hold the trials in New York City. That much was obvious if only because of the timing of the leaks, for publication on a Friday night, even later than the traditional Friday afternoon time for dumping bad news. And things aren't likely to get much easier from here, either. The plan is still to hold the trials somewhere in the U.S., at a place to be determined, and there's plenty of wrangling over the site still to come.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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