Pentagon to charge six 9/11 suspects

Pentagon to charge six 9/11 suspects
# 11 February 2008 16:47 (UTC +04:00)
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for the six, who include alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, if they are convicted, US media reported.
These will be the first charges from the Guantanamo war tribunal directly relating to the 9/11 attacks.
About 3,000 people died in the hijacked plane attacks.
Formal announcement of the charges is expected soon in Washington.
Defence department spokesman Bryan Whitman said it was "working diligently to prepare cases and bring charges against a number of individuals who have been involved in some of the most grievous acts of violence and terror against the United States and our allies".
The New York Times reported that other defendants to be charged will include alleged senior al-Qaeda member Ramzi Binalshibh, who was captured in Pakistan in 2002, and a man alleged to have been the 20th hijacker in the attacks, Mohammed al-Qahtani.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged al-Qaeda No 3 when he was captured in Pakistan in March 2003, has reportedly admitted to decapitating kidnapped US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.
Trials would be held under the terms of the Military Commissions Act, passed by the US Congress in 2006.
This sets up commissions to try terror suspects who are not US citizens.
An earlier plan for commissions ordered on the authority of the president alone was declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.
The latest law is also being challenged - by two prisoners in Guantanamo Bay who say they are being deprived of their right to have their cases heard by a US civilian court.
The US has about 275 prisoners left in the detention centre in Cuba and plans to try about 80 of them.
Nineteen men hijacked four planes in the 9/11 attacks. Two planes hit the World Trade Center in New York, another the Pentagon and the fourth crashed in Pennsylvania. /APA/