Five 9/11 suspects — including alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — will be tried in a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, not a civilian court.
"We simply cannot allow a trial to be delayed any longer," Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference Wednesday.
Holder blamed Congress for taking a counterterrorism tool off the table and placing restrictions on the Obama administration, saying their "tied hands" could lead to "serious ramifications."
The Obama administration abandoned plans to try Mohammed in civil court, after receiving much opposition from Congress. President Obama vowed to close Guantanamo Bay when he took office in 2009.
He accused Congress of harming national security by refusing his plan to close the controversial Cuban prison and trying terror suspects as criminals in civil court, instead of as enemy combats in military court.
Mohammed has been held by the U.S. since being captured in Pakistan in 2003. He alleged he had been tortured at Guantanamo Bay, with CIA documents confirming he had undergone waterboarding 183 times.
The other suspects include Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al-Hawsawi.
All five face charges including terrorism, hijacking, conspiracy, murder and destruction of property relating to the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed 2,976 people.
All five could face the death penalty, according to the Pentagon.
by RTT Staff Writer
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