Families of September 11th victims endured an emotional day Saturday as they watched the arraignment of the terror attacks' five alleged co-conspirators on live, closed-circuit TV at several locations, including at Fort Hamilton in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
All of the alleged September 11th co-conspirators appeared completely disinterested in Saturday's arraignment proceedings that signal the start of a trial more than 10 years in the making, as they read newspapers and refused to answer questions.
For the 30 first responders and family members of September 11th victims who gathered at the Fort Hamilton Army Base in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn on Saturday to watch the court proceedings on closed-circuit television, it was simply too much.
"They are refusing translators," said Debra Burlingame, who lost her brother on 9/11. "We just learned this morning that they have refused translators for some three years and now their attorneys are complaining that they haven't had translators for three years. In other words, they're engaging in jihad in the courtroom."
If they were optimistic about the possibility of justice for their loved ones at the start of the day, their good spirits soon showed signs of fading.
"I was hoping that this case to go forward and we hear the evidence and everything else but it seems like it's going to be delays and problems and motions," said FDNY Deputy Chief Jim Riches, who lost his son in the World Trade Center attack.
An outburst by defendant Ramzi Binalshibh, who complained about his treatment while being held at Guantanamo, drew no sympathy from those who watched.
"They're worried about what he's been through? It's just outrageous, it's beyond outrageous," said retired firefighter Robert Reeg. "But at least we're finally getting our day in court even if it is sickening to listen to them."
Victims' families said after watching the first part of what is expected to be a lengthy trial, they intended to follow the proceedings closely to make sure justice is served.