Pre-trial Hearings to Resume for 5 Charged in September 11 Attacks

7 Sep

Pre-trial Hearings to Resume for 5 Charged in September 11 Attacks

The U.S. prosecution of five people accused of planning and aiding the September 11, 2001, terror attacks resumes with pre-trial motions Tuesday after a break of a year and a half due to the coronavirus pandemic. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, a senior al-Qaida official and alleged mastermind of the attacks, is facing trial along with his co-defendants before a military commission at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.Trial of Accused 9/11 Mastermind Restarts, Days Before 20th Anniversary Mohammed and his co-defendants, who have been locked up at the “War on Terror” prison at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for nearly 15 years, will appear in the military tribunalThey face charges that include conspiracy, attacking civilians, murder, hijacking aircraft and terrorism. If convicted, they could face the death penalty. The process to hold trials for those accused in the attacks has been slowed by legal challenges between prosecutors and defense lawyers regarding what evidence can be used. The sparring involves both issues involving classified material and the use of information obtained during interrogations that defense lawyers argue was tainted by torture. The attacks involved nineteen men affiliated with al-Qaida hijacking four planes, crashing two of them into the World Trade Center towers in New York and crashing another into the Pentagon, just outside Washington. The fourth plane crashed into a field in the state of Pennsylvania. The attacks killed nearly 3,000 people. The United States responded by launching an invasion of Afghanistan to target al-Qaida and push the Taliban, who had harbored the terror group, from power. U.S. military operations in Afghanistan lasted just short of 20 years, coming to a close at the end of August as the Taliban once again seized control of the country. 

SJ

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