9/11 Mastermind Will Have Guantanamo Bay Trial

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 05, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay.

The move, which is in direct contradiction to the Obama Administration's long-held position on Guantanamo Bay, comes after almost two years of preparation to try him in a civilian court.

It appears as though the administration has decided that a trial must happen regardless of where it occurs.

When President Obama took office, he immediately vowed to close Guantanamo Bay, ordering a review of detainees and evidence against them. The Department of Justice then decided that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be tried in a federal court in New York.

Despite the controversy surrounding the planned New York trial, Eric Holder revealed that, in December 2009, a grand jury indicted Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and five other detainees, reports The New York Times. The Department had every plan to continue.

The shift in Guantanamo Bay policy seems to be a response to a cornered Justice Department and a decision that these trials cannot wait any longer.

Last year, Congress passed legislation prohibiting use of federal funds to move detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. for civilian trials. This act effectively prevented the Department from moving forward with any of its plans.

However, in his statement, the Attorney General indicated that the time had finally come to prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and serve justice. Victims and their families have been waiting for ten years, reports The New York Time. A longer delay would not be permitted.

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