9/11 terrorists still haven’t come to trial

Daily News Article   —   Posted on September 12, 2018

9/11 terrorists still haven’t come to trial

Before and after: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks is seen shortly after his capture in Pakistan on March 1, 2003. Right: Mohammed is seen in detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in July 2009. (AP)

(by Max Jaeger, NY Post) – …Seventeen years after they helped murder 2,977 innocents in the worst terrorist attack on US soil, five 9/11 suspects — including self-avowed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [KSM] — have not faced trial.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for all five men and have attempted for years to try the case, but a constantly shifting venue, questions over coerced evidence and the limitations of holding trials at Guantanamo Bay have slowed the case to a crawl.

Victims’ families say the legal limbo puts them through hell.

“It’s outrageous the length of time this has taken,” Debby Jenkins, who lost her brother Joseph Jenkins in the World Trade Center attacks, told The Post on Monday.

“Thousands and thousands of people have been affected. Families have been destroyed. There will never be closure, but we would just love to see justice served. That’s what we’re waiting for.”

Alice Hoagland, whose son Mark Bingham led the attempt to retake hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, said she respects due process but wants the suspects executed — the sooner the better.

“These people were instrumental in torturing and killing almost 3,000 people — one of whom was my son,” she told The Post on Monday. “They’re creepy people, and they murdered a lot of us, and they deserve to suffer and die.”

The US had captured Mohammed and the four accomplices by 2003. They were shuffled among CIA “black sites” for interrogation before being arraigned in 2008.

But President Barack Obama suspended the case when he entered office, and in 2010, the Pentagon dismissed the charges without prejudice, meaning the men could be charged again later.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder tried to move the case to Manhattan federal court, but the plan was nixed [following multiple challenges with this, including public opposition], and the administration refiled charges at the military court at Guantanamo.

The men were arraigned in 2012, and what has followed has been an endless procession of pretrial hearings over their treatment in captivity and whether evidence gleaned using “enhanced interrogation” tactics was usable.

“The fact that we can’t try these individuals is such an incalculable disservice to the citizens of this country,” said Karen Greenberg, director of The Center on National Security at Fordham Law School. “The system is just flawed in every way.”

In the latest setback, the military judge who had overseen the case since its inception stepped down. Now his replacement, Marine Col. Keith Parrella, 44, has to read up on 20,000 pages of transcripts, plus an unknown number of classified records, according to the Miami Herald.

With more pretrial hearings scheduled for 2019, a trial is not expected to begin before 2020, the Herald reported.

“If you look at it historically, how long its taking, I’m not confident it would be 2020,” Jenkins said. “I’d like to see that happen.”

Just two people have been sentenced in connection with 9/11 — Zacarias Moussaoui and Mounir el-Motassadeq.

Moussaoui pleaded guilty in 2005 to six terrorism-related conspiracy charges tied to 9/11 and is serving life in prison without parole.

In 2006, German courts convicted el-Motassadeq on 246 counts of accessory to murder for providing financial assistance to the 9/11 hijackers. He got 15 years in prison.

The five suspects faced yet another hearing Monday.

Mohammed’s lawyer, David Nevin, did not return a request for comment. But Greenberg said even the defense attorneys want to get the trial over with.

“They’re the only defense attorneys asking for their clients to be tried,” Greenberg said.

Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from the New York Post.


After 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured, he was interrogated by psychologist James Mitchell.

Watch a September 11, 2018 interview with Dr. Mitchell as he talks about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed:

Questions

1. The first paragraph of a news article should answer the questions who, what, where and when. List the who, what, where and when of this news item. (NOTE: The remainder of a news article provides details on the why and/or how.)

2. a) How long ago were the five terrorists captured?
b) What punishment are U.S. prosecutors seeking for these five terrorists who still have not been tried in court?

3. What do the family members of two 9/11 victims say about the years-long delay in bringing the terrorists to trial?

4. a) Define the court terms “arraigned” and “without prejudice.”
b) The captured terrorists were interrogated by the CIA before being arraigned in 2008. What action did President Obama take after entering office in January 2009?

5. Read the “Background” then watch the video clips of James Mitchell, the man who interrogated Khalid Sheik Mohammed. What is most surprising to you about Mr. Mitchell’s assertions? Explain your answer.


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Background

In March 2007, CNN reported:

  • Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, admitted to those attacks and numerous others during a U.S. military hearing on Saturday (March 10, 2007), according to an edited transcript of the hearing released by the Pentagon.
  • In a statement from him, read by a U.S. military representative, he said, “I was responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z.”
  • The transcript continues with the list of operations he was responsible for, including the Richard Reid shoe bomber attempt to blow up an airliner over the Atlantic Ocean, the Bali nightclub bombing in Indonesia, the 1993 World Trade Center attack and other attacks that were foiled.
  • The latter included surveying the Panama Canal for an attack to destroy it and surveying suspension bridges and high-rises in New York and Chicago, Illinois, to bring them down as well.
  • The list of some 29 operations he was responsible for is followed by a shorter list of operations he was partially responsible for, including an assassination attempt against then-Pope John Paul II while he was visiting the Philippines.

From a November 2009 NYTimes article:

  • Days after his inauguration, President Obama signed orders halting the Bush era military commission trials for captured terrorists and instructed officials to shut down the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba within a year.
  • The Obama administration announced in November 2009 that it would prosecute Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, in a Manhattan federal courtroom.
  • When announcing the decision, Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder also noted that while the civilian court system would handle those cases, five other detainees would be prosecuted before a military commission. Those facing a military trial include Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who is accused of planning Al Qaeda’s 2000 bombing of the Navy destroyer Cole in Yemen.
  • Mr. Holder said that over the past few weeks, he had “personally reviewed” the 10 cases and made the final determination about which system would prosecute the two sets of detainees.
  • The decision to prosecute some detainees in civilian court was a major policy shift from the Bush administration, which contended that suspected Al Qaeda members should not be treated like — nor given the rights of — ordinary criminals. It had charged the Sept. 11 defendants before a military commission at Guantánamo Bay prison.

Resources

After 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured, he was interrogated by psychologist James Mitchell.

Watch a September 11, 2018 interview with Dr. Mitchell as he talks about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed:


Watch 3 clips from a December 2016 interview with James Mitchell as he discusses terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM):

(Dec 2016) – Dr. Mitchell explains that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) initially confessed his guilt and pled guilty:


(Dec 2016) – James Mitchell Flight 93, falling man and the 9/11 victims:


(Dec 2016) Terrorists believe Islam is a Religion of Peace?