Washington (CNN) – The Obama administration is undaunted in its desire to bring to justice the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks despite an apparent setback in its plans for a civilian trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Sunday.
Mohammed “is going to meet justice and he’s going to meet his maker,” Gibbs said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
“In a federal courtroom or in a military commission?” CNN Chief National Correspondent John King interjected.
“He will be brought to justice and he is likely to be executed for the heinous crimes that he committed in killing – in masterminding the killing of 3,000 Americans. That you can be sure of,” Gibbs told King.
Asked again whether the administration still wants to try Mohammed in a civilian federal court or would, instead, consider a military tribunal, Gibbs pointed out that other terrorists who targeted the United States have been successfully tried in the federal courts.
After announcing that Mohammed would be tried in Manhattan federal court not far from Ground Zero, the Obama administration has, in recent days, signaled that a trial in New York City likely will not happen because of concerns about security and the high costs of protecting the city during such a high-profile event.
“We are talking with the authorities in New York. We understand their logistical concerns and their security concerns that are involved. We have been discussing that with them,” Gibbs told King.
“We want to see this man tried and brought to justice in the place in which the crime was committed. We’ll work with them and come to a solution that we think will bring about justice,” Gibbs added.