Guantanamo Chief Prosecutor Will Not Commit to Trial Date for 9/11 Mastermind


GUANTÁNAMO BAY NAVAL BASE— More than 14 years after Islamic terrorists took down the Twin Towers, killing thousands of American men, women, and children in the process, the man most involved in coordinating the attack remains here at Guantánamo Bay detention camp, unpunished for his crimes.

The 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and other enemy combatants responsible for slaying innocent Americans, will be represented in pre-trial proceedings this week, which will commence on Tuesday.

The alleged terrorists: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM), Walid Muhammad Salih, Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam Al Hawsawi, will appear at hearings scheduled from December 8 to December 11.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the most recognizable name of the detainees, has taken credit for masterminding the 9/11 attacks against America. KSM, an Al Qaeda commander, was arrested by Pakistani authorities in 2003 and transferred to the United States.

KSM’s team is readying a motion to demand that he be allowed to send a personal letter to the President of the United States. The defense team for the terrorists is set to bring other “emergency” motions forward for their clients, in an attempt to continue delaying their trial and eventual sentencing.

But the chief prosecutor of KSM and his fellow travelers says he cannot commit to a timeline to bring their cases to trial.

Breitbart News asked Brig. Gen. Mark Martins if he understood the frustrations of the American people, and especially, the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, when detainees such as KSM have now been at Guantanamo for a decade, and there is no trial or sentencing in sight for the blood-thirsty killer.

“I do believe that [the process is fair and there are a lot of people working hard to ensure its fair… that’s the system we set up, and it is not driven by a timeline,” he said. “I understand people’s frustrations. I hear it all the time and deal with it. I’ve got to do our duty in the law.”

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was moved to the facility in 2006, after three years of being in U.S. custody.

Two years ago, Gen. Martins predicted that January 2015 would be the date for KSM’s trial. Last year, he refused to “speculate” on a trial date. On Saturday, he would not commit to a goal for a trial date.

“Now, for 18 months, the process was held up because of an FBI investigation into one of the defense teams. I didn’t know about that back when we were making, when we were requesting a specific timeline for a trial,” he said.

Pre-trial hearings were halted in 2014 when defense lawyers for the alleged terrorists claimed that the FBI had interviewed a detainee and requested he sign a confidentiality agreement.

“What you were quoting, we thought that was reasonable,” he told Breitbart News of his initial prediction for a 2015 trial. “It became unreasonable as we were under a conflict of interest challenge. I ended up walling myself off from that and it took a lot of time and effort, but again, the standard was there be conflict-free counsel. You either believe in that and commit to that rule, or you don’t.”

“You can’t take shortcuts in this stuff,” he asserted, “and the law doesn’t allow frustrations… to govern that timeline. Its just the way it’s set up.”

“Meanwhile, we’re making progress in discovery. This is a huge load, and I’m grateful every day for the many hard working men and women who are working anonymously to work through the review of that,” Gen. Martins added. “I understand [the frustration]… I’ve talked to a lot of the family member [of 9/11 victims], and hear their concerns, but, in the meantime, people are being detained under the law, and we’re working to try to bring them to trial.”

Additionally, Gen. Martins referred Breitbart News to a DOD spokesperson when asked if the detainees released from Guantanamo in Nov. and Sept. pose a threat to the United States. The chief prosecutor said he reviews their cases and makes recommendations to the periodical review board. The Department of Defense press officer referred Breitbart News to a document that states the men were cleared in a process that included examining “security issues.”