5 Apr 2012

New military trials at Guantánamo

The alleged September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four suspected co-conspirators will face a new trial before a Guantánamo war crimes tribunal on charges that could carry the death penalty, the Pentagon has said. The five are accused of planning and executing 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 an 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 on Wednesday.

President Barack Obama halted the previous trial and wanted them prosecuted in civilian court. Congress opposed the move and the administration was forced to shift it back to Guantánamo. The decision to refer the case to a military commission means the five will be arraigned before a military judge at Guantánamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba within 30 days.