The administration’s decision to hold the 9/11 terrorism trial in New York City has met with much criticism over the last few months, but when the mayor of an impoverished upstate town invited the trial to be relocated there, the proposal did not satisfy everyone.
Newburgh is located some 60 miles north of New York and used to serve as George Washington’s headquarters during the American Revolution. Today, however, it is plagued by high unemployment, crime and poverty, according to media reports.
This has prompted Mayor Nick Valentine to propose that the controversial trial—which critics claim will endanger the security of millions of people in the densely populated New York area—be moved to his town.
He explained that his motivations are primarily economic. "There has to be a net result of economic stimulus and safety to your city, and making it visible around the world as a community that is really trying to be better," he said, quoted by the Times Herald-Record.
"We’re doing it by seizing an opportunity, and this is an opportunity," he added.
However, security experts Peter Bergen and Karen Greenberg have criticized the idea, suggesting the trial of five men—including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks—"belongs in New York."
In a commentary written for CNN they stated that it will bring a sense of justice for the families, restore the power of the rule of law and the criminal justice system, and boost confidence in America’s security apparatus.