Ahmed Ghailani, a suspected Al-Qaeda member held until yesterday at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, has been transferred to New York earlier today.
He will be facing a trial at a federal court in Manhattan on charges related to the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya which killed more than 200 people, including 12 Americans.
"The Justice Department has a long history of securely detaining and successfully prosecuting terror suspects through the criminal justice system, and we will bring that experience to bear in seeking justice in this case," says Attorney General Eric Holder.
However, Senate Republicans have criticized Ghailani’s transfer, with House Minority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, quoted as saying that it is "the first step in the Democrats’ plan to import terrorists into America."
If convinced, Ghailani can face the death penalty.
The 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies had been the most serious assault al-Qaida had made against American targets prior to the 9/11 attacks.
The administration’s recent proposals to transfer some of the terrorist suspects from Guantanamo Bay to prisons in the U.S. have divided politicians in Washington as well as on a state level.