US charges five 9/11 terror suspects

Washington, April 4: The US Wednesday announced charges against alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others in the Sep 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The charges were referred to a military commission in the case of “United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi”.

The defence department has alleged that the five suspects are responsible for planning and execution of the terrorist attacks of Sep 11, 2001, in New York, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, resulting in the killing of 2,976 people, Xinhua reported.

The five suspects are charged with terrorism, hijacking aircraft, conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians and civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, and destruction of property in violation of the law of war.

The Pentagon has referred all charges to a joint trial.

According to military commissions rules and procedures, the chief judge of the Military Commissions Trial Judiciary will assign a military judge to the case, and the five accused will be arraigned at the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within 30 days of service of the referred charges upon them.

The Pentagon also said it referred the case to a capital military commission, meaning if convicted, the five accused could be sentenced to death.

It also said the defendants have been provided counsel with specialized knowledge and experience in death penalty cases in a bid to assist them in their defence.