Accused September 11 'mastermind' Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to stand trial at Guantanamo
Accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four suspected co-conspirators were directed today to stand trial before a Guantanamo war crimes tribunal on charges that could carry the death penalty, the Pentagon said.
The five are accused of planning and executing the September 11, 2001, hijacked airliner attacks on New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, resulting in the deaths of 2,976 people.
They are charged with terrorism, hijacking aircraft, conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war and other counts, and were referred to a capital military tribunal, meaning they could be sentenced to death if convicted, the Pentagon said.
The decision to refer the case to a military commission means the five will be arraigned before a military judge at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba within 30 days.
The referral of charges comes one year after President Barack Obama's administration abandoned efforts to try Mohammed and his four co-conspirators before a civilian court as he had promised and shifted the case to a military tribunal.
Attorney General Eric Holder blamed politicians for the policy reversal, saying their decision to block funding for prosecuting the September 11 suspects in a New York court had tied the administration's hands and forced it to move to a military trial.
The American Civil Liberties Union condemned the decision today to proceed with a military trial.
"The Obama administration is making a terrible mistake by prosecuting the most important terrorism trials of our time in a second-tier system of justice," ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a statement.
"Whatever verdict comes out of the Guantanamo military commissions will be tainted by an unfair process and the politics that wrongly pulled these cases from federal courts, which have safely and successfully handled hundreds of terrorism trials," he said.
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Babies cry at night to stop mothers procreating, scientists claim
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
- 5 Mrs Doubtfire 2: Robin Williams set to star in sequel to 1993 comedy
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...