Sunday, March 11, 2012

9/11 mastermind set to face US military court

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Nine years after his arrest in Pakistan, self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheikh Mohammed could soon be back in court for the much-awaited 'trial of the century.' After years of delays, a significant step took place last week when a former aide to Mohammed, Majid Khan, accepted a plea deal with US authorities that will require him to testify against other terror suspects at a tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

More than a decade after the 2001 attacks that left nearly 3,000 people dead on US soil, the 46-year-old extremist known simply as 'KSM' remains the ultimate figurehead in a legal battle fought by two successive US administrations.
President Barack Obama 'can claim credit for killing (Osama) bin Laden and (Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar) Al-Awlaqi, so nailing KSM would complete the hat trick and help quiet the conservative fearmongers who say he's weak on terrorism,' former chief US military prosecutor Colonel Morris Davis told AFP.
Victory in the trial could prove critical to Mr Obama this year in his re-election bid, where he faces Republicans critical of his approach to terrorism.

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