4:14pm

Wed July 6, 2011
The Commonwealth

Mayor Speaks Out About Terror Trials

The mayor of Bowling Green, Kentucky believes the two Iraqi nationals being held in his city on terrorism charges are secure and American courts can handle terror suspects. On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in a letter that the decision to treat Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi as civilian defendants in federal court was “ill-advised.” However, the city commissioners disagreed and voted by a three-to-two margin against a resolution asking Holder to move the trial.

McConnell has said publicly the decision to have the trial in the state could result in retaliatory attacks and is widely opposed by Kentuckians, but Bowling Green Mayor Joe Denning told WFPL the location of the trial should be left up to the judicial system and not lawmakers.

“I don’t know the Senator has access to most statistical than I would have, so I’m not going to argue or debate whether or not those statistics are true or not, but I do know our community and I know the people in our community,” he says. “And our vote last night—a majority vote—represents I think what the majority of people here in Bowling Green feel.”

Initially, Denning supported the measure but changed his mind as a former law enforcement official, saying the city, state and federal government will do everything to ensure citizens remain safe while the men are being held in federal custody.

“I didn’t feel that it was right for us to request that it be sent to some other jurisdiction, some other community. It happened here so let the trial be here,” says Denning.