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Sept. 11 'Mastermind' To Be Tried By Guantanamo Military Commission

Apr 4, 2011

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Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., will be tried by a military commission at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports.

CBS News, Reuters, CNN and other news outlets also are saying they've been told by sources with direct knowledge of the decision that Mohammed will indeed by tried at Guantanamo rather than before a civilian court in the U.S. — as the Obama administration once said would happen. The Associated Press adds that "four co-conspirators" will also face a military commission.

In early March, President Obama signed an executive order that ended a two-year ban on military trials at Guantanamo Bay.

While Obama had campaigned on a promise to close the detention facility, and wanted to bring suspected terrorists to justice in civilian courts, Congress passed laws that conducting such trials almost impossible.

Update at 2:10 p.m. ET: At the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder just said that he still thinks it would be best to try the suspects in a federal court. But "we simply cannot allow a trial to be delayed any longer," he said, and he does not think the restrictions placed on bringing such trials in civilian courts will be loosened anytime soon.

Update at 12:55 p.m. ET: From the White House, CBS News' Mark Knoller reports that spokesman Jay Carney confirmed that the president has agreed with Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to try Mohammed at Guantanamo.

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