Obama still debating how to try 9/11, USS Cole defendants

President Barack Obama is still deciding whether to go to federal court with the death penalty cases against five men accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a Defense Department official has notified the thousands of victims' family members.

Meantime, a Pentagon-led prosecution team is using a White House freeze in military court proceedings to line up family members as witnesses in the 9/11 case and the 2000 USS Cole bombing, in the event that Obama decides to proceed with military trials.

"As of now, the President has not decided whether to continue the prosecution of the 9/11 or the USS Cole cases in military commissions, or to move one or both of the cases to federal court. Until such a decision is made, we will continue to be your primary point of contact for news" about those cases, said retired Navy Capt. Karen Loftus in an e-mail on Friday, the eve of the long holiday weekend, and posted on 9/11 victim web sites.

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