U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) is encouraged by news reports that the White House has asked the Justice Department to consider alternate locations for the planned Manhattan trials of self-professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged terrorists. Congressman Dent reiterated his belief that Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is the most suitable venue for any such trial.

“I’m hopeful the White House has finally come to its senses about holding these trials in New York,” Congressman Dent said. “I have said for months that the idea of trying the 9/11 mastermind and his accomplices in New York City made little sense, was far too costly to taxpayers, and placed the city and the region at undue risk. This week Mayor Bloomberg and other City officials agreed and reversed their original positions. It’s time Attorney General Holder recognizes the futility of holding these trials in the United States at all.”

“Once again I call on the Justice Department to completely abandon its plans to try these foreign combatants as if they were American citizens. Let’s try them at Guantanamo Bay and retain them in the military justice system, in accordance with the law.”

Congressman Dent, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, was the lead Republican on a bipartisan Congressional visit to the terrorist detention facility in Guantanamo, Bay earlier this month. He published an opinion piece earlier this week arguing for its continued use to house terrorists (Link to article here: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31925.html).