Is anyone in D.C. listening, or are they too busy playing politics and putting the supposed symbolism of the trial over the array of obvious security concerns? Louis Pepe Update, and an update on this story. “Blinded Prison Guard: Don’t House Terror Suspects in NYC,” by Joseph Abrams for Fox News, November 16 (thanks to Sam):
The high-security prison in New York City where 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is expected to be sent to await his trial has a supermax wing to keep even the most notorious criminals quiet — but it isn’t perfect. Just ask Louis Pepe.
Ten months before Al Qaeda in 2001 struck a deathblow in the heart lower Manhattan, one of the terrorist group’s founding members plunged a sharpened comb through Pepe’s left eye and into his brain, blinding the 42-year-old prison guard and causing severe brain injuries that plague him to this day.
Pepe told FoxNews.com he worries that sending Mohammed and four of his alleged fellow 9/11 conspirators to New York could compromise the safety of the guards at the MCC prison. Keeping the prisoners in one location, he said, was especially dangerous.
“Could you imagine over there what they’re gonna do, God forbid?” asked Pepe, now 52, who lost feeling in the right side of his body and most of his ability to speak. “After all these years, you’d think they should know.”
On Nov. 1, 2000, Pepe was ambushed in the cell of Mamdouh Mahmud Salim — an alleged top aide to Usama bin Laden. Salim’s cellmate, another Al Qaeda suspect, joined in the attack, which prosecutors say was an attempt to steal Pepe’s keys to the cell block to free other prisoners and take hostages.
The two had been granted permission by a federal judge to purchase hot sauce, says Pepe’s sister, which they then stored in a honey jar and used to create a blinding mace. Teaming up against Pepe, they beat and blinded him, covering the floor in his spattered blood. They then tried to rape him as he waited an entire hour for fellow guards to come to his aid, his sister said.
“They wanted to discredit the badge and what he stood for,” Eileen Trotta told FoxNews.com. “After they plunged him in the eye with that makeshift knife, they did the sign of the cross on his chest.”
Trotta said it would be like “deja vu” to see more Al Qaeda detainees shipped into New York for trial, where their court hearings will be just blocks from Ground Zero
“There’s no reason why everything has to be in New York, especially after 9/11 and what happened to Louis,” she said. “It doesn’t make sense — why bring them into the hotbed of the city?”…