TOKYO, Japan (CNN) –Accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed "will be subject to the most exacting demands of justice," President Obama said Friday.
"The American people insist on it, and my administration will insist on it," Obama told reporters at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
He was responding to a reporter's question about media reports that Mohammed will be tried in a federal court in New York, instead of by a military commission.
Obama would not confirm those reports, saying he did not want to preempt an announcement later in the day by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Mohammed is the confessed organizer of the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. But his confession could be called into question during a trial. A 2005 Justice Department memo - released by the Obama administration - revealed he had been waterboarded 183 times in March 2003.
The controversial technique that simulates drowning has been called torture by Obama.
Mohammed is one of five defendants in the 9/11 attacks being held at the U.S. military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The other four are Ramsi Binalshibh, Walid Muhammed bin Attash, Ali Aziz Abdul Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi.
National Public Radio, citing "officials familiar with the situation," said all five defendants will be tried in the Southern District of New York - a short distance from where the twin World Trade Center towers once stood.