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Entries in Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (7)

Wednesday
Apr042012

9/11 Mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Charged Again

FBI/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Terrorism charges were referred Wednesday against 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others, restarting the process to have them tried before a military tribunal.

The terrorist known among intelligence officials as KSM faces a myriad of counts, including terrorism, hijacking an aircraft, conspiracy, murder and attacking civilians, according to a statement from the Department of Defense. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania plane crash on Sept. 11, 2001.

In addition to Mohammed, Walid Muhammed Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi will all be tried by military tribunal and face the death penalty if convicted. They will be arraigned at the Guantanamo Bay prison within 30 days, the Defense Department said.

This is the second time the charges against Mohammed and his co-conspirators have been referred. Nearly four years ago the Obama administration decided to halt the military process to explore trying the suspects in civilian court, rather than a military tribunal.

After years of political wrangling between the administration and Congress, the case was transferred back to the military commission last year.

Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters then that despite the decision, he still believed a civilian court would have been the best mechanism for the men to face justice.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which has been critical of Guantanamo Bay and the military commission process, blasted Wednesday’s announcement, calling it a terrible mistake that promotes “second-tier justice” that undermines the U.S. justice system.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May312011

New Charges for Accused 9/11 Mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

FBI/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) –- The U.S. government re-filed charges Tuesday against alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other suspected conspirators, paving the way once again for the group to be tried in a military tribunal.

The group, which in addition to Mohammed includes Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin 'Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi, will face eight charges ranging from conspiracy and murder in violation of the law of war to terrorism.

"The charges allege that the five accused were responsible for the planning and execution of the attacks on New York, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pa. that occurred on September 11, 2001," the Department of Defense said in a statement announcing the charges. "Those attacks resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people."

Mohammed was originally scheduled to be tried by military tribunal after his arrest in 2003, but the charges against him and his alleged co-conspirators were dropped when the Obama administration attempted to move the proceedings to the civilian federal court system. But after an outcry from New York city officials, where the trial would've taken place, and a protest in Congress, the government reversed its position in April.

Mohammed confessed to his role in the most horrific terror attack in U.S. history in 2008.

President Obama, both as candidate and as president, strongly objected to the military tribunals set up by the Bush administration. In 2006, he said their structure was "poorly thought out" and immediately upon taking office, he signed an executive order to close the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay. He later said that the tribunals "failed to establish a legitimate legal framework and undermined our capability to ensure swift and certain justice."

When the government announced Mohammed and the others would be tried in military courts, rather than civilian courts, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Obama administration still intends to eventually close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr102011

White House Advisor: Obama Supports Holder on KSM Decision

FBI/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- David Plouffe, a senior advisor in the White House, said the president supports Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a military tribunal.

Holder originally announced that Mohammed would be tried in a civilian federal court under Article Three of the Constitution, but changed course after Congress blocked funding that would have allowed him to do so.

Plouffe said Obama also agreed with Holder’s original decision to try Mohammed in civilian court.

“Look, here’s the decision he had to make,” Plouffe said, the president “supported the Attorney General’s original decision to try and do this in Article Three, but it’s clear that that just wasn’t going to happen. So you have to make a decision then. With Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was it that he would essentially be in limbo, perhaps forever? Where there would be no justice for those families, as we’re now ten years after 9/11? Or we were going to try and achieve justice through the military commission? So the Attorney General made that decision and the president agreed with it,” Plouffe said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr042011

Confessed 9/11 Mastermind to Be Tried At Gitmo

FBI/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a sharp reversal of the Obama administration's policy on trying Sept. 11 suspects in U.S. courts, mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-conspirators will be tried in a military commission at Guantanamo Bay.

Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday placed the blame squarely on Congress for creating conditions where the Department of Justice cannot try them in a federal court, saying their decision would gravely impact U.S. national security and counterterrorism efforts.

They "tied our hands in a way that could have serious ramifications," he said Monday. "In reality, I know this case in a way that members of Congress do not. Do I know better than them? Yes."

Mohammed was to have been tried in New York City, but city officials strongly objected to the move and Congress refused to appropriate funds to house Guantanamo inmates on mainland United States and to provide funds for a trial of extraordinary expense.

Holder said he stands by his decision to try the terror suspects in U.S. federal courts, but was forced to resume the military commission because realistically, "those restrictions are unlikely to be overturned in the near future." He added that the Obama administration still intends to eventually close the detainee center altogether, as the president had announced after becoming president.

Obama, both as candidate and as president, strongly objected to the military tribunals set up by the Bush administration. In 2006, he said their structure was "poorly thought out" and immediately upon taking office, he signed an executive order to close the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay. He later said that the tribunals "failed to establish a legitimate legal framework and undermined our capability to ensure swift and certain justice."

Mohammed confessed to his role in the attacks in 2008. He will be tried alongside Walid Muhammed Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsawi, the four Sept. 11 co-conspirators Mohammed was undergoing proceedings with the first time around.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan202011

Report Says Justice Not Served in Murder of Daniel Pearl

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Lingering questions about the murder of journalist Daniel Pearl may finally be answered, thanks to an extensive investigation by students at Georgetown University.

Pearl was on assignment for The Wall Street Journal in Karachi, Pakistan, when he was kidnapped on Jan. 23, 2002 and beheaded days later at the hands of al Qaeda operatives.

The Georgetown students found that 27 different men were allegedly involved in the crime and that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was almost certainly the masked executor who took Pearl's life.

The findings of the three-year investigation were published today in an expansive report, titled "The Truth Left Behind: Inside the Kidnapping and Murder of Daniel Pearl." The team of 32 students who worked on the project were led by former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani and Georgetown University professor Barbara Feinman Todd.
 
According to the report, only four of the 27 men allegedly involved in the murder have been charged and convicted, and 14 others remain free.

Others are in custody but yet to be charged in the crime, including the man who was once al Qaeda's second-in-command, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is currently being held at Guantanamo Bay.

"The Pearl Project reveals that justice was not served for Danny," said Nomani in a release.

The students unearthed information revealing that U.S. officials have used a "vein matching" technique to verify that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was in fact the man who beheaded Pearl.

The al Qaeda leader had already confessed to the murder, but officials were concerned as to whether the confession was a result of waterboarding and might not be admissible in court.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov132010

Alleged 9-11 Mastermind Won't Soon Face US Trial, Report Says

Photo Courtesy - FBI/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The alleged mastermind of the 9-11 attacks is expected to remain in military detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without going to trial, as once planned.

The Washington Post reports that administration officials now believe Khalid Sheikh Mohammed cannot be put on trial in federal court in New York City until at least after the 2012 presidential election because of fierce opposition from members of congress and local officials.

The U.S. this week said it was "close to a decision" regarding the timing and location of the trial.

"The process is an ongoing one, we are working to make a determination about the placement of that trial," said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Following Holder’s comment, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., released a statement voicing his concern, saying, "the trial should not and will not be in New York."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov102010

US ‘Close to a Decision’ on Trial Location of 9/11 Mastermind

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – The U.S. is "close to a decision" regarding the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to a statement made by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The statement came during a photo-op between Holder and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano following a meeting at the Justice Department.

"The process is an ongoing one, we are working to make a determination about the placement of that trial," said Holder.

Following Holder’s comment, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., released a statement voicing his concern over the trials location, saying, "the trial should not and will not be in New York."

When asked if a location would be decided by the end of the year, Holder said they are "close to a decision."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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