WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Sunday he had not ruled out putting the suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks on trial in New York City but logistical issues and local opposition made it difficult.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is being held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has claimed responsibility for organizing the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and bombings in Indonesia, Kenya and elsewhere.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced in November that the Justice Department had decided to bring Mohammed and four other suspects to New York to stand trial for the attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
The plan was to hold the trial in a federal courthouse just blocks from the twin towers destroyed in the attacks, but it quickly ran into high-level opposition from officials who worried about the risk and the high cost of security.
Reports late last month indicated the administration was reconsidering the decision.
Asked on Sunday in an interview with CBS News whether the administration still planned to hold the trial in New York City, Obama said, "I have not ruled it out."
"But I think it's important for us to take into account the practical, logistical issues involved," he added.
"If you've got a city that is saying 'no' and a police department that's saying 'no' and a mayor that's saying 'no,' that makes it difficult."