Guantanamo 9/11 suspects facing US trial
Friday 13 November 2009
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the September 11 attacks, will face trial in a court just blocks away from where the World Trade Centre once stood, it was announced today.
The suspect will be transferred from Guantanamo Bay alongside four other detainees accused over the plot, all of whom will now be tried in a civilian federal court in New York, US Attorney General Eric Holder said.
He added that he fully expected prosecutors to seek the death penalty in all five of the cases.
A further five alleged terrorists currently held at the base, including a major suspect in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, will face a military trial.
Bringing Mohammed and others to the US to face the legal process is a key part of the White House's plan to close the controversial detention centre in Cuba.
But opponents have argued that treating the men as normal criminal suspects will give them the opportunity to espouse their extremist views in open court.
Speaking in Japan prior to the announcement, President Barack Obama said: "I am absolutely convinced that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be subjected to the most exacting demands of justice."
Mohammed has previously admitted to interrogators that he was the architect of the 2001 plot that killed close to 3,000 innocent victims.
It is alleged that he told agents that he suggested the idea to Osama bin Laden as early as 1996. He went on to fund the attacks, train hijackers and oversee the operation, it is claimed.
He will be tried alongside Waleed bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi and Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali.
Those facing prosecution under military law include Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the man prosecutors claim was behind the bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000, killing 17 sailors and injuring many more.
The civilian trials could shed light on some of the interrogation techniques used by US agents at Guantanamo Bay.
It is reported that Mohammad was subjected to waterboarding - the simulated drowning of suspects - 183 times in 2003 before the practice was banned.
Moving the trial to New York is seen by some as a risk on behalf of the US government. Defence lawyers are likely to claim that their defendants are unlikely to get a fair trial in a courtroom so close to the heart of the attacks.
Opponents to the closing of Guantanamo Bay have also said that moving the suspects to US soil puts Americans at greater risk.
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
- 1 Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
- 2 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 3 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 4 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 5 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...
£25000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...