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Homeland Security

US Charges Six September 11 Suspects, Seeks Death Penalty

By VOA News
11 February 2008

The U.S. government has announced murder and war crimes charges against six suspects in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States.

A U.S. military prosecutor said military officials want the six tried together and are seeking the death penalty for all six. A military judge will now review the evidence and recommend whether to move forward with a trial.

They suspects include the alleged mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. They are being held at the U.S. military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and would be tried in the military tribunal system.

Brigadier General Thomas Hartmann told reporters at the Pentagon Monday that the charges include conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war and material support for terrorism.

The September 11 attacks killed nearly three-thousand people when hijackers crashed fully loaded jetliners into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon outside Washington. Another hijacked plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

The Bush administration recently acknowledged that interrogators used waterboarding, which simulates drowning, on Mohammed and two other detainees - and said investigators obtained vital information using the technique. Critics allege waterboarding amounts to torture. Hartmann said it is up to the military judge to decide what evidence could be used.

The United States has faced harsh international criticism for its detention facility at Guantanamo, where terror suspects have been held for years since the 2001 attacks, most without charge.

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