Friday, May 25, 2018

Five face military tribunal today in 9/11 case

Almost seven years after terrorists hijacked U.S. airliners and used them as missiles to kill 2,973 people, five men who allegedly plotted the Sept. 11 attacks face a military tribunal today at the remote U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The five detainees, who all face war crimes charges and possible death sentences, are expected to be seated at separate defense tables aligned in a row inside a prefab courthouse.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: Charged with being the mastermind of the attacks by proposing the concept to Osama bin Laden as early as 1996, obtaining approval and funding for the attacks from bin Laden, overseeing the operation and training the hijackers in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was born in Pakistan's Baluchistan province and raised in Kuwait.

Waleed bin Attash: Better known as Khallad, he is alleged to have administered an al-Qaida training camp in Logar, Afghanistan, where two of the 19 hijackers were trained. He is believed to have been bin Laden's bodyguard. Authorities say bin Laden selected him as a Sept. 11 hijacker but he was prevented from participating when he was arrested and briefly detained in Yemen in early 2001.

Ramzi Binalshibh: A Yemeni, he is alleged to have helped find flight schools for the hijackers, helped them enter the United States and assisted with financing. He allegedly was selected to be one of the hijackers and made a "martyr video" in preparation for the operation, but was unable to get a U.S. visa and could not enter the United States. He also is believed to be a lead operative for a foiled plot to crash aircraft into London's Heathrow Airport.

Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali: Also known as Ammar Al-Baluchi, he is alleged to have sent about $120,000 to the hijackers for their expenses and flight training, and helped nine of the hijackers travel to the United States. Believed to have been a key lieutenant to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan, he was born in Baluchistan and raised in Kuwait.

Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi: The Saudi is alleged to have helped the hijackers with money, western clothing, traveler's checks and credit cards. He was a witness in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial, saying he had seen Moussaoui at an al-Qaida guesthouse in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in the first half of 2001, but was never introduced to him nor conducted operations with him.

Associated Press

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