November 13th, 2009
08:43 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 'subject to most exacting demands of justice'

Accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 'will be subject to the most exacting demands of justice,' President Obama said Friday.

Accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 'will be subject to the most exacting demands of justice,' President Obama said Friday.

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.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Robin

    And what will happen should it be decided that this murderer gave up information under torture? It appears this administration is more interested in going after Bush and Cheney than going after justice. The victims of 911 families should be outraged over this very dangerous move.

    November 13, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Finally! Let's 'process' these individuals via the courts, and move on.
    I could never clearly udnerstand what the delay was all about in doing this. Besides the fact that we were torturing them, of course.

    I am EXTREMELY happy about the seizure here in Md, NY, and other states , of property owned by an Islamic group that was sending funds back to Iran to fund illegal activities. Among those properties a 36 story high -rise in midtown Manhattan. Kaching!

    November 13, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. Terry, TX

    My question why does Eric Holder give the announcement....why did our president not announce this heinous decision with Holder standing by his side in the White House....another orchestrated bad announcement made while he goes to Asia...for no particularly good reason. Holder needs to resign....effective immediately.

    November 13, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. Mark

    Not in civilian court!! He will have top billed lawyers to reduce down anything he receives!

    Liberals are wrong for America

    November 13, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Curious to hear this administration's detractors put a negative spin on this story, and the Prez.. The creativity of Obama haters should be bottled and sold.

    November 13, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. sifto77

    Score–Terrorists 3014+1.......USA...0..another victory for far left and terrorism. Watch and weep.

    November 13, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. T'SAH from Virginia

    Journalist should know by now that you CANNOT trick an intelligent man into responding to HEARSAY – especially a man who calculates and takes his time to make decisions instead of RUSHING to judgment!!!

    President Obama – thank you for taking your time to make decisions... AND, Colin Powell gave you some GOOD advice. No matter what the RIGHT says or the LEFT – the decisions regarding Afghanistan are YOURS and you have enough knowledge and INTELLIGENCE to make the RIGHT decision!!

    YES WE CAN!!!

    November 13, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Anonymous

    not only will AMERICA get justice but so will the world
    and the PRESIDENT will make sure of it

    proud to be an american

    gary davis
    harbor oregon 🙂

    November 13, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. TCM

    yeah...he'll get the most stern apology that Obama has offered to anyone.....

    November 13, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  10. Drone Pilot

    I hope the real truth about 9/11 comes out now

    November 13, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. Bob in Pa

    He should have already been executed !

    November 13, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. Scott, Tucson

    I'm surprised that obama didn't add that we should not jump to any conclusions about Islam being that Khalid Mohammed is a Muslim and could have been suffering from a post stress syndrome of some sort which made him do it.

    November 13, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. LacrosseMom

    Of course, with the Military intelligence and the FBI doing investigations we know that the murderer will be brought to Justice.

    However, nothing President Obama says will be good enough for the far-right-folks!

    November 13, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  14. Georgia Girl

    ok, let's see how long it will be before the republican's start complaining about this

    November 13, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  15. Republicans are the American Taliban

    When he reaches American soil, Michael Steele will make him an honorary Republican, and the case will be tied up in court for the senatorial election in Minnesota. He has all the same "family values" as Republicans.Both want American soldiers and citizens to die! I bet he also cheered when America lost the bid for the Olympic Games, just as the RNC and Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, and O'Reilley did. Mohammad/Palin 2012

    November 13, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  16. Ancient Texan

    This decision by Obama and Holder to try prisoners of war in civilian courts and the final insult, to do so in NYC is the absolute height of stupidity and outrage. It's nothing but an opportunity for the prisoners to mock the USA and the victims of the terror attack on the World Trade Center. This is a terrible decision and we will rue the day it was made.

    November 13, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  17. Mark

    Yes now the terrorist are going to be put on a world stage just like they wanted.

    Stupid liberals.

    November 13, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. j

    Death by firing squad---–

    November 13, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. sniffit

    Torture is having this guy as President.

    November 13, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. chubby

    nobama will end up apologizing to the muslims for their attacks on our country. It's our fault.

    November 13, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. Loup Garou 782

    It has been evident from the day that obama took over the White House then installed holder as attorney general that they would never allow those detainees to be tried in military court. All indications are that the administration would like nothing more than to pay these people reparations and set them free. Then set about the process of prosecuting their captors

    November 13, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. Jerry

    Funny that no one I have spoken to agrees, if fact most think the move is insane. That is unless you were only trying to protect a brother.

    November 13, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. 30 Year Veteran

    I don't know why heis saying all this. American people need to wake up that Osama Bin Laden and these people is not what our government wants. They want control of the oil pipeline across Afghanistan and will claim it at all cost. The same motive for war in Iraq. Besides no one wants to capture Osama Bin Laden alive. He has too much to tell on the Iran-Contra affair. Ask EX-LTC OLIVER NORTH. Therefore there is no search going on for the man. You tell me the greatest army in the world can't find one man.

    November 13, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. Travis

    Are you going to get him a teaching job at Columbia?

    November 13, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  25. Sea.gem

    More oduble-speak by the great he can start painting the terrorists as victims...fastest poll drops in history...well the media did help him run his con on the American people...

    November 13, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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