The mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States continues to await trial more than 20 years after the murderous event that left 2,977 dead.
When Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was dragged from his hiding place in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in March 2003, he was the most high-profile terror suspect connections to the attack yet captured.
Mohammed landed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to await trial — and has remained there ever since.
It’s “an awful tragedy for the families of the victims.” said David Kelley, a former US attorney in New York, said of the government’s continued failure to finally put the terrorist on trial.
Kelley, who co-chaired the Justice Department’s nationwide investigation into the attacks, said the situation at Guantanamo was “a tremendous blemish on the country’s history.”
Experts say it may be difficult to try Mohammed in a civilian court because of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” he was subjected to by CIA operatives after he was captured. Critics say the methods — which included at least 183 instances of waterboarding — were tantamount to torture. The situation makes it unclear whether information Mohammed said during that period would be admissible in a civilian court.
Plans to sidestep the problem by trying Mohammed in a military tribunal have also run into roadblocks.
Families of the victims say they just want closure.
“It’s important to me that America finally gets to the truth about what happened, how it was done,” said George Haberman, whose 25-year-old daughter Andrea was killed after one of the hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center just one floor above her office.
Haberman has personally visited Guantanamo four times from his home in Wisconsin to observe legal proceedings — only to leave disappointed.
“I personally want to see this go to trial.” he said
With Post Wires
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