Over twenty years after the alleged mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the events that claimed 2,974 lives, are still pending trial.
Mohammed was first detained in March 2003, which was 18 months after the September 2001 attack. Since then, there have been several postponements in the plans to have him tried in a military or even civil court.
This indicates that the suspect, who was born in Pakistan, has been detained at Guantanamo Bay for almost 20 years despite never having been tried.
Mohammed was eventually apprehended by US forces in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, almost immediately after being first identified as a high-profile terror suspect.
According to some experts, the fact that the 58-year-old was subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques” by CIA agents is what makes it difficult for authorities to bring him before a civilian court.
These “techniques” have been criticized as being comparable to torture in the years since 9/11, which would be against the Geneva Convention.
Waterboarding and electrocution were allegedly used as interrogation techniques, which would immediately invalidate any confession Mohammed made in the eyes of the US justice system.
Former US Attorney General and outspoken critic of Guantanamo’s treatment of suspected terrorists David Kelley describes the lack of a fair trial as an “awful tragedy” for the victims’ families.
Kelley, who served as co-chair of the Justice Department’s federal investigation into the attacks, called the Guantanamo situation “a tremendous blemish on the country’s history.”
47 of the 107 detainees at Guantanamo in 2020 had been cleared for transfer, according to Amnesty International, but they remained without being given a reason.
Mohammed’s case offers little to no chance of a transfer, and efforts to start a trial have been unsuccessful thus far.
Mohammed and four other alleged 9/11 conspirators’ pre-trial hearings were scheduled to start later this month but were ultimately postponed.
Some families of the victims claim they just want answers because it’s unclear exactly how he’s connected to the 9/11 attacks.
After one of the planes struck the floor above her office, George Haberman’s 25-year-old daughter perished in the terrorist attacks. He asserts that Mohammed must be brought to justice.
He said: “It’s important to me that America finally gets to the truth about what happened, how it was done
“I personally want to see this go to trial.”
According to CBS News, when the trial does begin, the lawyers for Mohammed and four other defendants may attempt to reach an agreement on a plea bargain that would eliminate the possibility of the death penalty.