Terrorism Trials & Investigations

Statement by the Chief Prosecutor Regarding This Week's Hearing in the 9/11 Case

By Wells Bennett
Sunday, December 15, 2013, 8:23 PM

Here it is; its introductory paragraphs follow below.

By way of reminder, this week's pre-trial motions hearing in United States v. Mohammed et. al. commences tomorrow, with a closed session.  Lawfare's coverage thus will start up on Tuesday, and continue until the hearing's end on Friday.

From the statement by the Chief Prosecutor, Brigadier General Mark Martins:

Good afternoon. Since many of us last spoke in October, I have had occasion to spend some time at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in Manhattan as well as to ascend by rapid elevator to the observation deck of the Freedom Tower, still being completed but already now the tallest building in New York City. The view from that deck, as some of you know, is substantially the same as that once obtainable from the offices of Cantor Fitzgerald at floors 101 to 105 in the former North Tower of the World Trade Center. Substantially the same, that is, as one looks north toward mid-town, and the Empire State Building, and beyond that, to the George Washington Bridge, and still further—as it was a cold but very clear day—up the Hudson River to where I thought I could almost make out the Tappan Zee Bridge. But to the south, while peering in that direction from essentially the same position at high altitude, the view is nevertheless dramatically different from that once experienced by those in Cantor Fitzgerald, as there is no South Tower looming majestically nearby. Instead, as one looks down, there are the two massive square depressions in the earth, demarcating the footprints of the two towers with what are now the largest manmade waterfalls in North America.

I want to thank Port Authority Police Department Detective Lieutenant John Ryan for making that visit to the Freedom Tower possible and for sharing memories of the many first responders he knew who died in the attacks while seeking to rescue those in the towers. I also thank Museum Memorial Director Alice Greenwald and Liz Mazucci and Jenny Pachucki, also of the Museum Memorial, for making the visit so meaningful and instructive. Meanwhile, our hearts go out to all the surviving family members of those who once worked in Cantor Fitzgerald—there were 658 in all from that firm who perished—and to the entire community of the 9/11 fallen. To those family members and injured survivors who have made the trip to Guantanamo to witness the proceedings this week, we appreciate your abiding commitment to seeing justice under law achieved, however long it takes, and we admire your grace and dignity in the continued wake of such devastating losses.