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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Trials of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other terrorists will cost us more than $200 million a year

Providing security for the trials of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other terrorism suspects connected with the Sept. 11 attacks will cost more than $200 million a year, according to the Bloomberg administration, making it one of the most expensive security operations ever taken on by the city.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg outlined the city’s projected security expenses in a two-page letter sent on Tuesday to Peter R. Orszag, the director of the federal Office of Management and Budget. The letter, which seeks federal reimbursement for all security costs, was released on Wednesday.

In the letter, the mayor said the cost would be about $216 million for the first year and $206 million per year in subsequent years. Much of the expense — about $200 million each year — would be for personnel. The rest would cover equipment-related expenses of $12.5 million in the first year and $2.5 million in each subsequent year.

Although the mayor stressed that the city needed the federal government to shoulder the financial burden, he did not argue that the trials should not be held in New York.

When asked what the city would do if the government declined to cover the costs, Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said, “We do not have the resources available to provide the protection needed absent federal funding.” (continues here)

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