Newport News Seen As Terror Trial Site


A new, high-security courthouse in Newport News, Va., could be the site of terrorism trials for some Guantanamo Bay inmates, including the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, reports the Washington Post. Prosecutors in Virginia are competing with the Manhattan U.S. attorney for the opportunity to prosecute high-profile cases, including those of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his co-conspirators.

Such cases have traditionally been brought in New York or at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, where Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and other terrorism defendants were convicted. The area around the Alexandria courthouse, less than 10 miles from the White House, has grown dense with hotels, restaurants, and luxury apartments, which prompted an outcry from Alexandria officials opposed to housing detainees. “It’s gotten heavily, heavily congested, and there are security issues,” said one federal law enforcement official. An interagency task force has not decided where to try Guantanamo inmates.

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