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Holder: Admitted Sept. 11 Masterminds 'Would Be On Death Row' If Tried In NYC

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The U.S. attorney general says that if the admitted conspirators of the September 11th attacks had been tried in the city, they would already be awaiting execution, but five defendants, including the alleged mastermind of the attacks, are still awaiting trial at Guantanamo Bay. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.

Frank Siller's brother, Stephen, a firefighter, died on September 11, 2001. Frank started the Tunnel to Towers Foundation to honor his brother's sacrifice.

Stephen's remains have still not been found, and the alleged mastermind behind the attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, has still not been tried.

"They're evil, just like Osama bin Laden," Frank Siller said. "Evil. Get them off the face of the Earth.

Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that he was right four years ago when he tried to move Mohammed's trial to federal court just blocks away from the World Trade Center site.

"The defendants would be on death row as we speak. We, unfortunately, did not go down that road," Holder said. "Had we gone along the path that I announced at that time, we would not have had to close down half of Manhattan. It wouldn't have cost $200 million a year."

Amid political pressure, the Obama administration moved the trials of Mohammed and four of his alleged co-conspirators back to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Mohammed initially wanted to enter a guilty plea, but military tribunals don't allow for guilty pleas in capital cases.

"Had that case been in civilian court in downtown Manhattan, it would have taken about 45 minutes to take their plea of guilty to a capital case," said Attorney Ron Kuby. "They would have proceeded to sentencing."

Kuby said that military tribunals are new, special courts, and it takes a long time to work out the kinks.

"Trial may not take place for another three or four years," Kuby said. "He's likely to die of old age down in Guantanamo before there's finally a verdict."

"Things don't always happen on my timetable," Frank Siller said.

Frank Siller said that a dozen years later, Mohammed should have been tried and convicted, but he believes that alleged terrorists don't deserve trials in civilian courts.

"Please, please, don't make a circus out of it and bring them here in New York City," he said.

Pretrial motions have been going on for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four alleged co-conspirators, but it's unclear when the actual trial will begin. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP