January 31st, 2010
03:56 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama aide: Alleged 9/11 mastermind 'going to meet his maker'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/31/art.gibbsiso0131.cnn.jpg caption="White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday that the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks 'is going to meet justice.'"]
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.

soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Death Assurance Companies

    Some of the antiAmerican,treasonous bloggers should be with him.

    January 31, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. Maximus

    My comment regards the changes at CNN. Are you making every effort that you can to dumb down your programming? Rick Sanchez for two hours? Ali Belshi in a lead role? Now you are bringing CC to the Sunday slot? Heidi Collins gone? What did she do–a professional job of reporting the news without constant commentary? I am done with this circus. If I want fringe news coverage and inept reporting, I can go to Fox.

    January 31, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    But, the right wingnuts are very afraid, and they do not seem interested in justice for KSM.

    January 31, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. Dennis Amarillo

    Obama, Gibbs, and their current administration just don't get it! Americans object to these terrorist being given the full rights of an American Citizen. More over, we object to the billions of dollars the Obama administration will be handing over to lawyers to defend them as American Citizens, pay Court Cost, and protect them as American Citizens while on trial. To say nothing of the costs to our nation as these "newly minted American Citizens" make a mockery of our justice system as their trials proceed. Additionally, Gibbs will NOT decide these terrorist fate, since these "New American Citizens" will be in the hands of the worst possible courts, the courts run by our out of whack liberal Americans.

    January 31, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. Fitz in Texas

    Bet you could find millions of Americans that would offer to buy that bullet to help Khalid Sheik Mohammed meet his maker faster.

    January 31, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. buckeye

    Since the sentence, let alone conviction, is already in, why bother with a trial? Nothing like wild west "justice'.

    January 31, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Black Viper

    The AL Qaeda terrorists wins again because the republicans let them do that. The republicans put all their chips of relection on the fear of the american people to win vote.
    AL QUAEDA will continue to make the american people fear them more than anything else in the world because of the STUPID decision to show weakness in KSL trial istead of strengh.
    Instead of showing to the world our security is tough and challenge Al Qaeda we are runing in fear.
    Thank you republicans

    January 31, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Donkey Party

    Since KSM has been made into an uber villian by Bush and Cheney, when you say he is going to meet his maker, do you mean Bush / Cheney, or Allah?

    January 31, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. Ken

    Brought to Justice? Not if the ACLU has anything to say about it. Why do liberals hate America so much that they want a confessed terrorist and enemy of the state to have the same rights as an American citizen; and you just know they want him to get off to teach someone a lesson.

    January 31, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. O'Keefe-professional anti liberal spy for Fox

    When I get out of federal prison, I am going to video cam the justice department when they least expect it.

    January 31, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. IKHAN

    hopefully this would come to pass sooner rather than later. And perpetrators would get what they deserve.
    However 9/11 sits heavy on the minds of Americans,especially the families of the victims.There are more questions than answers out there.
    These master minds who seem nothing more than murdering criminals executing such a precision plan calculated in the finest of technical details, timing etc sitting thousands of miles away just boggles your mind.

    January 31, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |

    I will not trust on Gibbson that he don't know how about on terroist but im really glad heard that repbluic slam obama

    January 31, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. leftisloony

    so typical of just how deranged this administration is.......on the one hand, we are giving foreign born terrorists constitutional rights that citizens of the US enjoy, mirandizing them, and then a chance for show trials where, i'm assuming they will be presumed INNOCENT until proven guilty....and then, on the other hand, we have the moronic gibbs (and other spokesmen for obama) proclaiming on national TV that these "common crimimals" will be found guilty and executed for their crimes in these FAIR trials......does the word bias come to mind.......i'm betting one of the first things the lawyers for these TERRORITSTS will do is to point out the comments just like these and insist their "clients" can't get a fair trial and motion after motion after motion will follow......the trial will be one long exercise in futility and propaganda, not to mention a huge waste of money and incredibly dangerous for whatever lucky community gets to hold them.......just what planet do these IDIOTS in obama's camp live on..........and who wants to be on the jury for all al qaeda to see? ......not me..........this administration is nothing but a bunch of idiotic idealistic amateurs bent on taking us all down........

    January 31, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. lieNoMore

    Let's do this and do it now. No more hand-wringing or letting idiot Retardlicans trash our most excellent American Constitutional system. Try the terrorists find em guilty and give them death penalty or life whatever is deserved. Then let the innocent go and prove the USA is the beacon of light in the face of 15th Century morons like Bin Laden.

    And BTW and if someone is stupid enough go back and join Al-Qaeda or the Taliban let them know that the only option is to end up like Hakimullah Mehsud smoked by a drone...

    January 31, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Biased

    Once again we have the President's spokesman reiterating what the President said earlier that he will be tried and meet his maker – so I would say what is the need for a federal trial then if he will be facing a jury who already knows that the President and his spokesman already have convicted him.
    If Obama wants to show the world the fairness of the justice system then I say that is no longer possible and who in their right mind would want to sit on a jury and be used as a tool when the verdict is a foregone conclusion? The only thing now would be to return it to Gitmo under military tribunal like the other 4 Holder decided to send there instead of federal court.

    January 31, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. Garth Webster

    The Obama Administration is more concerned about putting the Bush Admin on trial than it is prosecuting the mastermind of 9/11. People were jumping out of 100 story buildings to their death and Obama wants to show the Muslim world that 9/11 is behind us and that we will treat them as equals.

    Obama is no better that the 9/11 mastermind

    January 31, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |

    Not so fast Gibbsy!
    He can't be guaranteed a fair trial if you announce this a'priori!!
    Slow down.
    What's the point of his trial then?
    I mean he needs to see his maker soon but let's all pretend he has a chance of escaping that appointment.
    He's a beast

    January 31, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. Mike in MN

    Gibbs comments make me wonder why we are even bothering with a trial. Come to think of it KSM has already pleaded guilty, so why do we need the big trial show? That's right, to make new headlines of Bush abuses.

    January 31, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. sifto77

    t, Gibbsy you sound tough–now try acting tough......put your money where your mouth is and try the man in military court where he belongs....

    January 31, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  20. Melissa

    Good. I hope they kill the guy responsible.

    January 31, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. Paul H

    I have no doubt the the Obama administration want's justice. But putting these thugs in a civilian court is stupid. It's also costly. Military tribunal is what they need, and it make more sense.
    Not to mention the fact that these fanatics are laughing at us all over the world over this.

    January 31, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. hobart

    Why is John King such a Republican apologist? Why does no one in the mainstream media call the Republicans on their outrageous lies and hypocrisy? When they try terrorists in civilian courts it is perfectly OK, but when Democrats do the same, it makes the country less safe (some even call it treason). If today's Republicans were at least honest enough to admit that had they the chance to do it over again, they would not have tried foreign terrorists in American civilian courts on their watch, that it was wrong then, and it's wrong now. But they won't even man up and admit that. Instead, they lie, distort, and revise history. Why won't the media even call them on this blatant hypocrisy?

    And why did so many Republicans vote against full body scans in airports?

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    January 31, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. Truth

    Gibbs can't ever answer a question straight up! He is a lair and so is Obama. I wonder if Joe Wilson was correct when he said YOU LIE! I voted for Obama but, there would have to be a miracle for me to vote again for him 2012...

    January 31, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. HoldenLitgo

    "Gibbs pointed out that other terrorists who targeted the United States have been successfully tried in the federal courts."

    It's a fact. About 200 of them, including including “shoe bomber” Richard Reid; al-Qaeda agent Jose Padilla; “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh; the Lackawanna Six; and Zacarias Moussaoui,

    This is just another in the long list of important points opponents of Obama and the rule of U.S. law – Liz Cheney, et al – conveniently forget when it comes to this discussion. They're more concerned with being right-wing than they are with being right.

    January 31, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. BILL, WI

    At least when Pres Bush signed the Military Commisions Order on Nov. 13, 2001, it was stated in para a of Section 4 that life imprisonment could also be imposed.

    Is the death penalty the only option with the Obama administration?

    Will the rules of evidence differ from the Military Commisions standards substantially; or will the rules of evidence comply with those outlined in the Military Commissions Order unchanged.

    January 31, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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