Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who goes before a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Saturday, has claimed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and multiple attempted attacks against the U.S.
The appearance of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other men in a military courtroom at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ends a nearly decade-long back and forth over how best to try the men the U.S. says helped plan, pay for and execute the Sept. 11 attacks.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — or KSM, as he is known — has claimed that he was the mastermind of the attacks "from A to Z." But his ties to terrorism, by his own admission, go beyond that one plot. KSM saw himself as the sun around which his network revolved.
In this photograph of a courtroom sketch, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, charged with orchestrating the Sept. 11 attacks, attends a court hearing at Guantanamo in 2008. He's expected to appear in a military court Saturday.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men charged in the Sept. 11 attacks were supposed to be tried six years ago in a military tribunal created by the Bush administration.
But that system — which allowed hearsay evidence, among other things — faced questions about its fundamental fairness. When President Obama came into office, he put all the proceedings at Guantanamo on hold and asked that the commission system be revamped.
Since then, there has been an effort to make sure the trials at Guantanamo are credible, with both Congress and the Supreme Court weighing in.
A picture posted on the website www.muslm.net in 2009 allegedly shows al-Qaida's Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has claimed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
The man who claims to have orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks is expected to appear in a military courtroom this Saturday. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men are supposed to answer formal charges related to their roles in the plot.
Their arraignment will be at Guantanamo Bay, and it is the first step that leads — possibly years from now — to a military trial.
There have been hundreds of terrorism trials in the U.S. since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but the case unfolding in Brooklyn,N.Y., is different. While its focus is on defendant Adis Medunjanin and the role he allegedly played in a 2009 plot to bomb New York City subways, the trial itself breaks new ground. It marks the first time the public is hearing in open court about real al-Qaida plots from the people the terrorist group actually dispatched to carry them out.