Lawmaker: What if terrorists took NYC mayor's kid

AP News
Posted: Nov 17, 2009 4:34 PM

An Arizona congressman who believes it's a security risk to prosecute suspected Sept. 11 terrorists in Manhattan apologized Tuesday for suggesting New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's family could be in danger with such a high-profile case in town.

Speaking on the House floor Monday night, Republican Rep. John Shadegg wondered whether bringing the professed mastermind of the 2001 attacks to face trial in Manhattan would endanger everyone from the mayor's daughter to the "judge's wife."

"Well mayor, how are you going to feel when it is your daughter that is kidnapped at school by a terrorist?" Shadegg said.

"This is political correctness run amok," he added.

Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser said "we're not dignifying this with a response."

The mayor's two daughters are grown. One is in college.

Shadegg told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he was sorry.

"I apologize for the insensitivity of my remarks with respect to the mayor or his family, however I think it is important to note that this decision involves potential risk to innocent people," Shadegg said.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 suspects will be brought to trial in lower Manhattan.

Many Republicans say having a civilian trial in New York, instead of a military tribunal, threatens the city's safety. Bloomberg, who had no role in the decision, has said law enforcement can handle the increase in security that will be needed.

"Every time there's a high profile case, we provide enhanced security," he said Monday. "A lot of it you don't see, but it's there."