Apr 4, 2012 1 Comment ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from The Washington Post: A senior Pentagon official on Wednesday authorized a new trial for Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four others accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, a step that restarts the most momentous terrorism case likely to be held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The suspects were first charged in a military commission in 2008, but the case was suspended when the Obama administration came into office and later moved to have them tried in federal court in New York.
That effort collapsed in the face of congressional and local opposition. In April 2011, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that he was reluctantly sending the case back to the military.
Military charges against the five men were re-sworn in June and, on Wednesday, Ret. Vice Adm. Bruce MacDonald, the official who oversees commissions and is known as the Convening Authority, sent the case for trial after reviewing and approving those charges.
The men face multiple charges, including murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, hijacking aircraft and terrorism. If convicted, they could face the death penalty.
Charged along with Mohammed are Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, a Pakistani who is Mohammed’s nephew; Ramzi Binalshibh and Walid bin Attash, both Yemenis; and Mustafa al-Hawsawi, a Saudi. All are accused of playing key organizational or financial roles in the attacks on New York and Washington, a plot that Mohammed has said he masterminded.