The trial of five detainees accused of aiding the 9/11 plot has been delayed once again after two of them claimed that a translator they had been appointed as part of their defense team was a CIA agent who worked at a secret torture prison.
“The problem is I cannot trust him because he was working at the black site with the CIA, and we know him from there,” defendant Ramzi Bin Al-Shibh said the moment the hearing started on Monday, according to the Miami Herald.
Another of the defendants, Walid bin Attash, verified the identity of the CIA agent. His attorney told those gathered that bin Attash was “visibly shaken” on seeing the CIA operative.
“My client relayed to me this morning that there is somebody in this courtroom who was participating in his illegal torture,” attorney Cheryl Bormann told Army Col. James L. Pohl, who is overseeing the trial at Guantanamo Bay.
Bormann further told the court that the presence of the alleged CIA agent was either “the biggest coincidence ever” or “part of the pattern of the infiltration of defense teams” by the US Government.
When Pohl asked Bormann when she became aware of the development, Bormann replied it was “just three minutes ago.” After a short time, Pohl then called for a halt to the proceedings until Wednesday.
Back in August the trial was halted after defense attorneys alleged the FBI had attempted to turn a defense security officer for Al Shibh into an informant some months prior.
As the stop-start proceedings have continued, defense lawyers have also discovered that government agents have open access to their computers, that the CIA is able listen to attorney-client conversations in the courtroom, and that supposedly private facilities at Guantanamo Bay are all wired up for surveillance purposes. The Defense lawyers have expressed that it is near impossible to do their jobs under such circumstances
The two detainees have been in custody for over a decade, but until they were moved to Guantanamo Bay in 2006, they were held and tortured at a secret CIA “black site”. Some of the interrogation techniques were further revealed in last year’s Intelligence Committee report, the release of which interrupted and further delayed the progression of the trial.
Also on trial as part of the proceedings are Khalid Shiekh Mohammad, the accused mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, as well as Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawasawi.
Zacarias Moussaoui, the so called 20th 9/11 hijacker is being tried separately as part of an ongoing civil case by the families of 9/11 victims. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Moussaoui had further testified that members of the Saudi royal family financially supported al Qaeda in the lead up to the 9/11 attacks.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.