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9/11 families have mixed emotions on NYC terror trial

For Mayor Michael Bloom-berg and Rep. Peter King, the site of the accused 9/11 plotters' trial is a financial, political and security issue.

But for the families of those killed in the World Trade Center collapse, the issue is even more complicated as they grapple with conflicting emotions.

"If it's not in our city, then another city would be in jeopardy," said Allison Hobbs of Baldwin, whose husband, Thomas, worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. "You have the same security issues wherever it is."

Like most others interviewed for this story, Hobbs, a nursery schoolteacher, would prefer to see the trial of mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others charged with the deadliest attack in the nation's history held in a military court.

King (R-Seaford) announced legislation Thursday that would prohibit the Justice Department from trying Guantánamo Bay detainees in civilian courts.

"It certainly should be a military trial," said Ginny Cross Fredriksen of Manorville, who lost her firefighter brother Dennis Cross on 9/11. "It's a war, a thing that happened that started a war. I don't think that they should have the rights that citizens have here."

There is also a contingent who would prefer the trial be held locally to provide a sense of closure. "It should definitely be in New York," said Greta Helmke of Hauppauge, whose police officer husband, Robert, died in 2007 of cancer linked to working at Ground Zero. "That's where it happened and that's whose lives it affects."

And retired FDNY battalion chief Jim Riches of Brooklyn, whose firefighter son Jimmy died in the towers, said he's more concerned with getting the trial under way than the venue or whether it is held in a civilian or military court.

"I was for them having the federal trial here, but right now, I just want them to try them," said Riches, who has three other firefighter sons. "Whether they try them at Fort Hamilton or upstate, or wherever, I want them tried."

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