Military prosecutors have re-filed charges against self-acclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Pentagon announced today. They were re-filed because in 2008, the charges on Sheikh Mohammed, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Mustapha Ahmed al-Hawsawi were dropped as the Obama administration sought to have them tried in a civilian court in Lower Manhattan. "The Obama administration abandoned that effort last month, citing Republican opposition in Congress," reports the AFP. Now the administration is attempting to hold the trial at Gitmo.
Fox News has details on what happens next.
This is the first step paving the way for an arraignment.
The body that oversees the commissions will make a decision on whether to accept the charges. If accepted, the arraignment must take place within 30 days. That will essentially begin the trial process, though pre-trial motions could take as long as a year.
As the lengthy legal process unfolds, two sources familiar with the case add that with the month of Ramadan falling on Aug. 1-30 this year, it may not be possible to arraign the men before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Asked about the timing, a spokesman said a statement would be released later today on the status of the case.
Federal prosecutors want the five suspects to face eight charges each, reports Politico, "including conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, and terrorism for actions related to the 2001 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pa." The AFP notes that besides taking down the twin towers, KSM's rap sheet includes the beheading of journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 and assisting the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, which killed six people.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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