An Al Qaeda Trial Begins in Manhattan, and Life Goes On

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The defendant's old "wanted" poster. Photo: Getty Images News

Remember when the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11 (and blowhard whose Al Qaeda bosses found him a bit tiresome), had to be moved from the city because it was too controversial and somehow weak to bring terrorists to court?

Clearly, the rule doesn't apply to the more anonymous Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian who is charged with buying the supplies for the 1998 bombing of the local U.S. embassy that killed over 200 people. His trial began today in federal court downtown, making him the first prisoner from Guantánamo Bay — where he's been since 2004 — to face a civilian trial. His defense lawyer, who is named Steve Zissou (the one from Bayside, not the one hunting tiger sharks), argued his client was duped by Al Qaeda.

Added bonus: Visitors to the Daniel P. Moynihan Federal Courthouse can now be greeted with a friendly "Welcome to the Terrordome."

Guantanamo Trial Opens In New York [AP via NYT]