9/11 Mastermind's Pre-Trial Hearings Are Now in 9th Year

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was joined by 4 other defendants for first hearing in 18 months
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2021 1:30 AM CDT
9/11 Mastermind's Trial Has First Hearing in 18 Months
This Monday, Dec. 8, 2008 courtroom drawing by artist Janet Hamlin and reviewed by the U.S. military, shows Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, center, and co-defendant Walid Bin Attash, left, attending a pre-trial session at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.   (AP Photo/Janet Hamlin, Pool, File)

Pre-trial hearings in the case against alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other defendants allegedly involved in the 2001 attacks resumed Tuesday for the first time in a year and a half. They were suspended last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hearings are now in their ninth year, and as the Guardian reports, there is no indication of when they might end and an actual trial might be held. The session at a Guantanamo Bay military tribunal was presided over by a new judge, the trial's seventh, and most of the hearing involved defense lawyers questioning him about his qualifications and connections to past judges in the case. Several lawyers involved in the case have also moved on at some point during the long process, adding to delays as the new lawyers and judges get up to speed.

The lawyer for one defendant says he was happy to be back in court after spending so long in lockdown due to COVID, CNN reports. Reporters, as well as family members of 9/11 victims, watched the proceedings from behind soundproof glass on a 40-second delay to protect against classified information being publicized. For more:

  • ABC News explains "yet another speed bump" that took place at Tuesday's hearing here.
  • NBC News talks to analysts about why this trial has gone so far off the rails here.
  • The BBC dives into how KSM initially eluded the FBI here.
(More Khalid Sheikh Mohammed stories.)

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