U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) joined several Members of Congress from Pennsylvania this week urging the President to bar the civilian criminal trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11th attacks, and four co-conspirators from taking place in Western Pennsylvania. The U.S. Department of Justice has suggested relocating the terrorists’ trials to Pennsylvania after last week’s rejection by New York City officials to host the trials only blocks from Ground Zero.

A copy of the letter to the President, signed by six members of the Pennsylvania delegation, is attached.

“Last week the Mayor of New York and several prominent officials rightly came out in opposition to the plan to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed just blocks away from Ground Zero,” stated Congressman Dent, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. “It is equally absurd to move the trials to Pennsylvania, a short distance from where American heroes on United Flight 93 gave their lives to stop the fourth hijacked plane from reaching its target.

“Aside from the Justice Department’s continued insensitivity to the victims’ families, the plan to try these foreign terrorists on U.S. soil defies logic and precedent. These individuals are not American citizens, and they are not common criminals who were arrested. The terrorists at Guantanamo Bay should stay there, away from the American public, and they should be tried in military commissions as the law provides,” said Congressman Dent.