Sept. 11 Attack Mastermind, Co-Plotters to be Arraigned

Posted May 5th, 2012 at 10:00 am (UTC-5)
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Five men accused of planning and helping to carry out the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States are back before a military judge in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to face charges that could lead to their executions.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the attacks, and his four co-defendants

were being arraigned Saturday at the U.S. military base in Cuba.

The five men have been held for years at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, amid a legal and political battle over how and where to prosecute them.

All five face charges for killing nearly 3,000 people in the attacks in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The arraignment is the first step before the beginning of the trial and marks the second time the U.S. has tried to prosecute the September 11 suspects. The legal maneuverings are expected to last for years.

Several family members of the victims of the terrorist attacks were selected by lottery to travel to Cuba to witness Saturday's hearing. Other relatives gathered at military bases inside the United States to watch the proceedings live on closed-circuit television.