WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has charged six detainees at Guantanamo Bay
with murder and war crimes in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, it
was announced Monday. Officials said they'll seek the death penalty in
what would be the first trials under the terrorism-era military
"These charges allege a long term, highly sophisticated, organized
plan by al-Qaida to attack the United States of America," Brig. Gen.
Thomas W. Hartmann, the legal adviser to the tribunal system, told
reporters. He added that the charges have been sworn "against six
individuals alleged to be responsible for the planning and execution
of the attacks" which occurred on Sept. 11, 2001 and killed nearly
Hartmann said the six include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected
mastermind of the attacks in which hijacked planes were flown into
buildings in New York and Washington. Another hijacked plane crashed
in the fields of western Pennsylvania.
White House press secretaryt Dana Perino said that President Bush had
no role in the decision to seek the death penalty.
"Obviously 9-11 was a defining moment in our history," she said, "and
a defining moment in the global war on terror. And this judicial
process is the next step in that story. The president is sure that the
military is going to follow through in a way that the Congress said
The military will recommend that the six men be tried together before
a military tribunal. But the cases may be clouded because of recent
revelations that Mohammmed was subject to a harsh interrogation
technique known as waterboarding -- which critics call torture.