Terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), credited with being instrumental in al Qaeda carrying out the 9/11 attacks, will be tried along with other high-level terrorists by a military commission, the Defense Department announced today. The arraignment will take place "at [the] Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within 30 days of service of the referred charges upon them," according to a press release from the Department of Defense.
This means that KSM will not be tried in New York City as the Obama administration initially planned. The Obama administration made the first announcement in November 2009 to use the same location as the attack as the site of the trial, but backed down under pressure not to bring the 9/11 mastermind back to New York City.
Today's announcement signals an election year backtrack by the politicized Obama administration and Justice Department. (Gitmo, of course, was supposed to be closed by now under the Obama administration's guidance, though it has remained open for business since President Bush first started using the base to hold high-level terrorists.)
"The Department of Defense announced today that the convening authority, Office of Military Commissions, referred charges to a military commission in the case of 'United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin 'Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi,'" says the DOD press release.
"The charges allege," the press release goes on to state, "that the five accused are responsible for the planning and execution of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., resulting in the killing of 2,976 people."