November 13, 2009

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Five men accused of plotting the September 11, 2001 attacks, including the self-proclaimed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be tried in a civilian court in New York, The Washington Post reported Friday.

President Barack Obama had pledged to inform a Guantanamo military judge by Monday whether to try the men before US federal courts or military tribunals — a decision central to his plans to close the controversial facility.

Asked about it in Tokyo, Obama said the Justice Department would make an announcement later in the day, calling it a “prosecutorial decision as well as a national security decision.”

“I am absolutely convinced Khalid Sheik Mohammed will be subject to the most exacting demands of justice,” Obama said.

The decision would not affect the vast majority of the 215 detainees who remain at Guantanamo Bay, the controversial off-shore prison which Obama had pledged to close by January 22, the Post said, citing a federal official and other sources.

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