Homeland Security Chief: ‘I Am Not Privy’ To Discussions About Where To Hold 9/11 Terrorist Trial

February 26, 2010 - 2:33 PM

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano

(CNSNews.com) – While Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Senate on Wednesday  that she had not been consulted about the logistics and security concerns of trying accused 9/11 terrorist Khalid Sheik Mohammed in New York City, she told the House on Thursday she had no idea where the trial might occur because she had not been consulted about new locations.

In the Homeland Security Committee of the House of Representatives, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) asked Napolitano whether she knew which cities were being considered for the relocated terror trial. The Department of Homeland Security secretary said, “I am not privy to that information.”
 
Reacting to Napolitano’s answer, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) said, “You do not know which cities are being considered and you’re secretary of the Department of Homeland Security?”
 
Napolitano said she was not part of the discussion.
 
“Sir, I personally am not part of those discussions,” said Napolitano.
 
While the secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not know and is not involved in discussions about the location of high-profile terror trials, the  Obama administration has requested $200 million for DHS to provide security at civilian terror trials, including the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed.
 
Earlier, Napolitano told King that she had not been included in the original decision to hold Mohammed’s trial in New York City (a decision now being revisited and a new trial location being sought.)
 
“Were you ever consulted – prior to the announcement – by the attorney general that it (the trial) was going to be held in New York?” King asked.
 
“I was not,” Napolitano said. “It is my understanding that those assessments are being done by the Department of Justice.”
 
The Deaprtment of Homeland Security was created after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to protect the country from future harm. In the proposal to establish the department, it states,  " The President proposes to create a new Department of Homeland Security, the most significant transformation of the U.S. government in over a half-century by largely transforming and realigning the current confusing patchwork of government activities into a single department whose primary mission is to protect our homeland. The creation of a Department of Homeland Security is one more key step in the President’s national strategy for homeland security."