NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: U.S. Army National Guard soldiers keep watch in Grand Central Terminal September 22, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
New Yorkers are almost evenly split over whether they think its a good idea to try the five alleged 9/11 plotters in Manhattan, a new poll indicates.
Politicians have come down on both sides of the Justice Department's decision to hold the trials in civilian court. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mayor Michael Bloomberg support it. Gov. David Paterson and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani have blasted the move, saying it puts the city at undue risk.
That's not the sentiment held by a slight majority of New Yorkers, however. A new Marist poll finds that 45% of residents think it’s a good idea to have the trial in New York City while 41% believe it’s a bad one. The remaining 14% just aren’t sure.
What about the risk of future terrorist attacks? Although 47 percent say the location of the trial will not affect the likelihood of another terrorist attack occurring in New York City, another 40 percent of those surveyed believe that trying the suspects just blocks from the World Trade Center site will make the city a target for extremists.
The poll found that 40% believe having the trial in New York City will increase the possibility of another terrorist attack in the area.
Most New York City residents — 67percent — are confident law enforcement officials will be able to handle the potential security risks associated with such a high profile trial in Manhattan, the poll found.
But another 22 percent don’t have as much faith that any complication can be handled.
When it comes to their personal safety, 52 percent of New York City residents don’t think it will impact their own security while 34% think the trial will compromise their personal safety and put them in greater danger. Another 8% report it will put them in less danger -- perhaps because of the added security feds have promised ahead of the start of the trial.