If Not New York City, Where?

It's looking increasingly likely that the Obama administration will nix plans to hold the trial of five Sept. 11 terror attack suspects in a federal courthouse in New York City. Official sources have said alternative locations are being studied, following pressure from lawmakers and New York City officials over concerns about security and cost. Republican lawmakers have argued for a military tribunal, but the White House still stands by Attorney General Eric Holder's recommendation to pursue a civilian trial. So if not in New York City, where?

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    West Point

    The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, about an hour north of Manhattan, sprawls over 16,000 heavily guarded acres along the Hudson River and is closed to the public. There is a tiny 30-person courtroom for dishing out justice to faculty and cadets. But it's unclear where terror suspects would be held or tried without disrupting the education of the nearly 4,500 cadets.
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    Thomson Correctional Facility

    The Obama administration already has proposed this Illinois prison for housing Guantanamo detainees and holding military tribunals for some of them. But critics note that holding trials here poses security risks because prisoners would have to be shuttled as far as Chicago, 150 miles east, to face trials in federal district court.
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    Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, N.Y.

    This prison in Mount Hope, N.Y., about 70 miles northwest of New York City, has double-fencing, armed perimeter control and motion detectors that has held terrorists before. (Zvonko Busic, who hijacked a TWA flight in 1976, escaped by digging under a fence in 1987.) A trial is another matter: There is no courthouse and a trial has never been held there, according to Bureau of Prisons spokesman Ed Ross.
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    Governor's Island

    This former military base in New York Harbor now is a public park and historical site that welcomes summertime picnickers and bike riders and hosts art exhibits, concerts and festivals. The island has no jail, and suspects would likely have to be transported daily by boat from federal lockups in Brooklyn or Manhattan. Some structures are large enough to serve as a courthouse, but they are in severe disrepair. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly already have said the location is unsuitable.
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    Federal Courthouse in Alexandria, Va.

    Plenty of terrorist suspects have been tried and convicted here, including Zacarias Moussaoui. But providing security wouldn't be cheap, as the federal courthouse is just across the Potomac River from the White House and Capitol.
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    Stewart Air National Guard Base

    This base for the 105th Airlift Wing, located in Newburgh, N.Y., 60 milies north of New York City, is isolated but doesn't have a courtroom, prison or even a barracks. The facility shares runways with Stewart International Airport, which has daily commercial flights. The mayor of Newburgh has said he would welcome a trial because the stream of visitors would bolster the local economy.
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    Federal Courthouse in White Plains, N.Y.

    This courthouse is in suburban New York, with a less dense population than the city. But there is no detention center. The building lacks the security of the federal courthouse in Manhattan, where prisoners can be moved from an onsite jail to the courtroom through a secure tunnel and where roads are already blocked by guarded barriers.
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    Sing Sing Prison

    The famous maximum security prison on the banks of the Hudson River has bars and cells but little available space and no courtroom. A similar location, suggested by some -- but with similar problems -- is the Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, N.Y.
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    Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

    Conservatives still argue that the Obama administration should hold military tribunals for the 9/11 suspects at this controversial detention facility, which already is equipped to handle them. But human rights and legal organizations have repeatedly challenged it because it denied defendants many of the rights they would be granted in a civilian courtroom.
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