March 25, 2010
As the US is preparing to prosecute the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has threatened American citizens with new assaults.
Bin Laden issued the new warning in a new audio message broadcast on al-Jazeera television on Thursday.
Prosecutors are expected to seek the death penalty for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other people allegedly involved in the 9/11 attacks.
“The day America will take such a decision [to execute Mohammed and any others], it would have taken a decision to execute whoever we capture,” bin Laden said.
He added that US President Barack Obama was “following the footsteps of his predecessor [George W. Bush].”
Mohammed has been in US custody since March 2003, when he was captured in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi.
After initially blaming bin Laden and attacking Afghanistan in order to capture the Saudi national, US officials changed focus of their attention and announced that the main culprit has been transferred to the Guantanamo Bay prison.
In March 2007, Combatant Status Review Tribunal Hearing in Guantanamo claimed Mohammed and four co-defendants confessed to plotting for the attacks.
On December 8, 2008, they allegedly sent a note to the military judge expressing their desire to confess and plead guilty.
Human rights groups say the harsh treatment inflicted on Mohammed during his stay at Guantanamo amounts to torture, questioning credibility of the confessions under interrogation.
This article was posted: Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 10:11 am