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Thread: Key 9/11 Suspect To Be Tried In New York

  1. #61
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    Exclusive: 9/11 Grand Jury Now Hearing Evidence in NYC
    Regular New Yorkers hearing evidence against accused Sept. 11 plotters

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local...-78818382.html

    By JONATHAN DIENST
    Updated 8:49 AM EST, Wed, Dec 9, 2009

    AP A federal grand jury in New York is now hearing evidence and testimony in the 9-11 terror case, NBCNewYork.com has learned. The Justice Deparment is moving forward in seeking an indictment against self-proclaimed 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other terror suspects.

    The panel of everyday New Yorkers was convened after Attorney General Eric Holder announced the alleged 9-11 plotters would face civilian trial in New York instead of a military tribunal. If the alleged plotters are convicted, prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty.

    Justice Department spokesmen in New York and Washington declined to comment. Spokesmen for the U.S. District Court and the FBI also would not comment.

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other suspects are currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Mohammed had been indicted in New York back in 1996 for his alleged role in an al Qaeda plot to blow up U.S. airliners over the Pacific.

    It is unclear if prosecutors will only seek 9-11 related charges from this grand jury. Some experts say prosecutors could also include terror charges for the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and other past al Qaeda attacks overseas.

    Other terror suspects to be sent to New York include:

    Walid bin Attash who is accused of being selected as a hijacker but never made it to the United States. Officials said he took test runs on U.S. airliners overseas and also played a role in the USS Cole attack as well as the U.S. embassy bomings in Kenya and Tanzania.

    Ramzi Binalhibh allegedly applied for flight training in Florida but also failed to enter the U.S. Investigators said he too played a key role in providing logistical support to the hijackers.

    Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi is accused of providing funding to the hijackers. And Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali is a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who is accused of also providing support to the hijackers.

    Nearly 3,000 people were killing in the 9-11 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

    The Obama administration has said it hopes to close Guantanamo Bay and moving several key suspects to New York for trial is a step towards closing the detention facility.

    It is unclear when the suspects will be sent to New York. The Justice Department has to notify Congress 45 days in advance before moving the suspects to U.S. soil. Congressional sources said notification has not yet happened so the 45 day clock has not yet started ticking.

    Critics have complained a civilian trial is a mistake claiming it makes New York an increased target for a terror attack. Others have said terrorists should face a military tribunal because the 9-11 attacks were an act of war, not a crime.

    But supporters of a civilian trial have said the courts are the right place to try the suspects and a trial serves as a victory for the rule of law.

    As for the grand jury, it is unclear when it might vote on the terror charges and any indictment could be weeks away.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #62
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    Accused 9/11 plotters may face NY "Guantanamo"

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5B851920091209

    12/10/2009

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - If the men accused of plotting the September 11 attacks wonder what conditions they might face when they are moved to New York from Guantanamo Bay for trial, they can expect solitary confinement, 23-hour-a-day lockdowns, constant video surveillance and almost no visitors.

    That has been the experience in New York of one American student, Syed Fahad Hashmi, accused of minor acts of aiding al Qaeda. Those conditions have drawn criticism from human rights advocates who protest outside the Manhattan jail where Hashmi has spent 2-1/2 years in solitary confinement awaiting trial.

    Outside the jail housing Hashmi, just a hew hundred yards (meters) from the site of the 9/11 attacks known as Ground Zero, protesters carry banners reading "No Guantanamos at Home or Abroad" and say the case shows a lack of rights for terrorism defendants.

    Such confinement for some suspects charged under anti-terrorism laws are called special administrative measures, or SAMs. The U.S. Justice Department says SAMs -- which need approval of the U.S. Attorney General -- are needed to prevent violence and that Hashmi was threatening British authorities when he was arrested.

    The U.S. Justice Department is considering moving dozens of cases from Guantanamo Bay military prison to the United States for trials in civilian courts. They may also face SAMs, designed to block communications from dangerous inmates.

    NBC reported on Tuesday that a grand jury in New York is hearing evidence against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-professed mastermind of the September 11 attacks in 2001, and four accused accomplices. A grand jury decides whether the evidence presented is strong enough to bring charges.

    "I would not be surprised if there are SAMs isolating these guys as they are much higher profile cases than the Hashmi case," said Karen Greenberg, executive director for the Center on Law and Security. "There are real (due process) concerns about the Hashmi case."

    SOCKS, PONCHOS, RAINCOATS
    The past 2-1/2 years in solitary confinement for Hashmi, a Pakistani-born American student, is one of the longest periods in America that a suspect has ever been held in isolation before trial. Hashmi is accused of storing waterproof socks, ponchos and raincoats for two weeks in his London flat.

    At trial, set to start in January, the main witness, Junaid Babar, is expected to say Hashmi held the military clothing for him, knowing they would be passed to al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

    Prosecutors say Hashmi also gave his phone to Babar to call a convicted bombing conspirator and lent Babar money for a plane ticket to Pakistan to transport the gear. Babar has testified at terrorism trials in Britain and Canada since pleading guilty in 2004 to supporting al Qaeda.

    "We are seeing Muslims accused of terrorism who are experiencing a much harsher brand of due process," said Hashmi's lawyer, Sean Maher. "These measures ... lead to a situation of complete sensory deprivation."

    Hashmi is the first terrorism suspect extradited to the United States from Britain, making his a test case for U.S.-British cooperation. He has pleaded not guilty and faces up to 70 years in prison if convicted.

    The SAMs include a 23-hour-a-day lockdown, constant video surveillance of his cell and a limit of two visits per month from one family member. Hashmi's lawyer says that means his client is not in a state to defend himself properly.

    Hashmi is one of only five defendants held under SAMs before trial; four of the five are terrorism suspects. Usually such prisoners face the special measures after conviction.

    Of more than 200,000 federal inmates, 42 are held under SAMs and of those, 28 are imprisoned on terrorism-related convictions, the Justice Department said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #63
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    U.S. Attorney General Goes to N.Y. for Meetings on 9/11 Trials

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/10/ny...0security.html

    By AL BAKER
    Published: December 9, 2009

    Amid significant concern about security arrangements for the trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. made an unannounced visit on Wednesday to federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials in New York.

    Mr. Holder went to the Metropolitan Correctional Center, the United States attorney’s office and the adjacent federal court in Lower Manhattan, where Mr. Mohammed, who is accused of being the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks, and four other 9/11 detainees will be tried, just blocks from where the World Trade Center once stood.

    He met with security officials, including Raymond W. Kelly, the city’s police commissioner, and Joseph M. Demarest Jr., the assistant director in charge of the F.B.I.’s New York office, “to discuss coordination, cooperation and security for the potential upcoming trials of the 9/11 terrorists,” said Special Agent Richard Kolko, an F.B.I. spokesman in New York.

    Mr. Holder’s visit, and the range of people he huddled with, reflected the government’s seriousness in approaching the as-yet-unscheduled trials and their potential to wreak havoc on a city battered by terrorism plots, successful and not.

    Once the Justice Department announced on Nov. 13 that it was bringing its case to Manhattan, the Police Department began formulating plans for “security around the venue itself, and protection of the city,” including its bridges, transit system and landmarks, said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman.

    William T. Morris, a deputy chief in the department’s Criminal Justice Bureau, is collecting information for Mr. Kelly from sectors like the Intelligence Division and the Counterterrorism Bureau, which oversees the more than 100 detectives assigned to work with the F.B.I. on the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

    There will be the usual physical security elements, including roadway checkpoints, patrol officers in the streets and snipers on rooftops. There will be unseen elements, too: plainclothes officers mingling with crowds. Protection for the prosecutors, witnesses and the judge will also be factored in, officials said.

    While the entire operation will be similar to the deployment for a New Year’s Eve celebration, the difference this time is it will have to be sustained over months or more, officials said.

    Mr. Kelly has told the Justice Department that the costs for security operations, including paying officers’ overtime, are expected to exceed the initial minimum estimate of $75 million.

    When Senator Charles S. Schumer asked Mr. Holder in a Nov. 18 hearing in Washington if he would recommend that the president include money in the federal budget for the city’s extra security costs, the attorney general said, “New York should not bear the burden alone.”

    On Wednesday, Mr. Holder also met with officials from the federal Bureau of Prisons, the United States Marshals Service and federal prosecutors from Virginia, where Zacarias Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 for his role in the Qaeda conspiracy.

    “He was in New York to meet with the prosecution team working on the 9/11 case,” Matthew A. Miller, a spokesman for Mr. Holder, said after the meetings. “There is broad agreement that we can safely and securely hold these trials.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #64
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    Bachmann laments that foreign citizens have rights

    http://rawstory.com/2009/12/bachmann...tizens-rights/

    By Sahil Kapur
    Friday, December 11th, 2009 -- 9:58 am

    WASHINGTON - Republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann, never one to miss an opportunity to promote conservative boilerplate, is now claiming that offering a federal court trial to the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks is a "slap in the face" to not only victims of the tragedy -- but all Americans everywhere.

    The right to a fair trial, Bachmann said in a press release Wednesday, is one of the "benefits and perks reserved for American citizens."

    Bachmann's words echo the claims made by a number of others at a recent rally in New York, where protesters lamented that 9/11 perpetrators had "the same rights as U.S. citizens" and argued that due process was "reserved for U.S. citizens."

    The Washington Independent counters:

    In fact, the “right” to be prosecuted in a U.S. federal court has never been “reserved” for U.S. citizens at all. It’s historically been a “right” accorded to anyone who commits a crime on U.S. soil. Thus everyone from a U.S.-born citizen to an illegal alien who commits a federal crime in the United States gets tried in federal court. Although the government has just recently created special military commissions to try some crimes against U.S. military targets abroad, we don’t normally create new courts or legal systems to try non-citizens who commit mass murder, mail fraud, or any other crimes that might land them in federal court.

    As New York City courts prepare to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed for his admitted role in masterminding the September 11 attacks more than eight years ago, Bachmann and other conservatives say they're worried he might try something fishy that would "place our national security at risk."

    "It only takes a moment to realize that KSM will use a public trial to access sensitive intelligence information, plan more attacks and mock the families he tore apart on 9/11," said Bachmann, advocating for "swift and conclusive" justice.

    How Mohammed might in a court trial have access to "sensitive intelligence information," as she claims, is unclear. It is also uncertain what her notion of "swift and conclusive" justice entails, or how Mohammed might acquire the resources while handcuffed and detained to threaten the U.S. homeland.

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney, who has routinely and aggressively slammed Obama all year, made similar assertions, calling the decision by President Obama and Attorney General Holder's to try Mohammed in courts a "huge mistake" that would make him "a hero in certain circles." He also said this is evidence that Obama is "more radical" than he previously thought.

    But even Cheney stopped short of saying the right to a fair trial was exclusive to American citizens.

    Various others have praised the decision to put Mohammed on trial, arguing that it reflects the United States' best principles, including the rule of law, due process and fair justice.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #65
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    Former AG Mukasey, Giuliani Blast 9/11 Trial Decision
    It's "at best a mistake, at worst a disaster in the making," said the former AG

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/polit...-79069852.html

    By JONATHAN DIENST
    Updated 3:52 PM EST, Fri, Dec 11, 2009

    Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani last night both blasted the Obama administration's decision to put Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other 9/11 terror suspects on trial in New York.

    "On every possible ground, it is a terrible mistake," Giuliani said in an interview with NBCNewYork.com Thursday night. "It would be very wise if the President and the attorney general would change their mind and not try them in a civilian court in New York. Try them in a military court."

    Giuliani said moving the trial here will increase the already high terror threat to the city and cause enormous resources to spent on security.

    "Do you say 'New York is already a target so let's do another thing to make it a target?'" Giuliani asked. "It will certainly add to the tremendous burdens of protecting" the city.

    Mukasey, who served in the last Bush administration, also took shots at the decision, calling it "at best a mistake, at worst a disaster in the making."

    The former top lawman in the nation questioned why some terror suspects accused of bombing the U.S.S. Cole will face military tribunals while the suspects accused of killing nearly 3,000 Americans go to New York for trial.

    "It is a mistake from a security standpoint both for the security of the city and national security," Mukasey said. "National security secrets can be revealed much more easily in a public proceeding like much more easily than in a military commission."

    Mukasey was the federal judge during the blind sheik terror trial in the mid-1990's. He had private security assigned to him for the next 11 years.

    The NYPD has said it can help make the trial safe although officials say security costs in and around the courthouse could far exceed the initial $75 million dollar estimate.

    Mukasey predicts it could take years before any 9/11 trial actually starts.

    Meanwhile Attorney General Eric Holder was in New York earlier this week to meet with prosecutors and security officials. Holder has said it is past time for the suspects to face trial.

    "By holding these terrorists responsible for their actions, we are finally taking ultimate steps towards justice. That is why I made the decision," Holder said during a hearing on Capitol Hill last month. "I am not scared at what Khalid Sheik Mohammed has to say at trial and no one else has to be afraid either."

    President Obama has said he strongly backs the decision for the trial for the self-proclaimed mastermind of 9/11. "I don't think it will be offensive when he is convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him," Obama said.

    Senator Schumer (D-NY) has said he believes the trial is the best and fastest route for the 9-11 suspects to face justice and a possible death sentence. Schumer has said families of the victims have waited far too long.

    Some democrats have derided Giuliani's criticisms, pointing out he supported the trial and later conviction of 9/11-linked suspect Zacarias Moussaoui.

    NBCNewYork.com first reported that a grand jury in New York is now meeting to consider what charges to hand up against the accused 9-11 terrorists. Officials said it could take weeks before any charges are made public. New York and federal officials are making security plans that could include additional street closings, rooftop snipers, emergency response units, bomb sniffing dogs and security teams to escort the judge, prosecutors and jurors.

    Republicans Giuliani and Mukasey said they will continue to press to try to get the decision to hold a trial in New York reversed.

    "If you had to have the trial here, fine the city is ready, willing and able to do it. But the worst part of this is we don't have to have the trial here ... it could be in a military tribunal," Giuliani said
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  6. #66
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    American Justice System Too Weak For Terrorists, GOPers Say

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2...gopers-say.php

    Evan McMorris-Santoro | December 10, 2009, 1:33PM

    Standing in front of the Supreme Court this morning, a group of Republican lawmakers railed against the court system run out of the building behind them. A sign affixed to the plexiglas podium each spoke at in turn spelled out the reason for their concern. "Protect our homeland," it read. "Keep terrorists out of America."

    The justice system laid out in the Constitution, they said, is just too weak to protect American citizens from wiley terror suspects. From "activist judges" to courtroom sketch artists, the group reeled off a list of reasons the Obama administration decision to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees to the U.S. for trial could quite possibly end in, as Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) suggested, a nuclear attack on the United States.

    The group of conservative lawmakers have been arguing against bringing the Gitmo suspects to the U.S. ever since the decision was announced. They suggest, as do most Republicans and some Democrats, that the best way to try terror suspects is through military tribunals on the Guantanamo Bay base itself. Today, they repeated that argument. But they added new focus to their claim that the Constitution and bringing terrorists to justice can't mix.

    Gitmo is "the best place to have [trials], it's the best place to house them. It's the safest place," Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told reporters. "More importantly, it's the place that keeps activist federal judges from making activist decisions that could end up turning [terror suspects] loose on the streets of America."

    After the press conference, King elaborated on his worries about U.S. judges. "We wouldn't even be thinking about trying these detainees on U.S. soil if it hadn't been for activist judges who decided they were going to confer constitutional rights on people that have never seen the United States of America," he said, referring to the 2006 Hamdan v. Rumsfeld Supreme Court decision that said military commissions as set up by the Bush administration violated the Geneva conventions.

    King suggested that "activist" judges could be inclined to release terror suspects over some liberal legal principle or another. "A judge can rationalize most anything," he said. "If you're a living, breathing -- how should I say it? -- 'evolving' constitutionalist than you can write anything you want to justify your own rationale."

    Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) was troubled by what might happen when waterboarding and the American right to a fair trial met in a U.S. courtroom. She worried what might happen if terror suspects argued they'd been given "cruel and unusual" punishment at Gitmo.

    "This is what scares me because they're in a U.S. court now and the rights are different," she said. "What will they say [about their detention] and what could happen and could they be out among the people again? It's very frightening."

    How frightening? Mushroom cloud frightening, according to Franks. He said that a federal trial would give the suspects "a megaphone to speak to the planet," which he said "only hastens the danger" of, literally, a nuclear terrorist attack.

    When a reporter pointed out that federal trials aren't televised, perhaps making the "megaphone" a little less likely, Republicans said there were other ways for terror suspects to peddle their propoganda from a U.S. courtroom -- for example, sketch artists.

    "What we've seen happen is artists draw pictures and this will be written up and there are interviews outside the courtroom everyday and there will be defense attorneys taking the global stage," King said. "We are in an electronic era where they Internet and all these other media that we have will create a real time look at what's going on in New York."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  7. #67
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    As the September Eleventh Advocates said recently, "the American Justice System has been used to try terrorists 214 times since September 2001, with a success rate of 91% - 195 people were convicted." In my opinion, they don't want 9/11 in the court room because like in the Moussaoui Trial (read Fact #47), things may be revealed that they don't want revealed. Since we already know about the torture, I wonder what else they are trying to hide?
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Fed task force for 9/11 trial

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/f...IJ7G0acEa3egwK

    Last Updated: 6:01 AM, December 16, 2009

    The FBI is forming a squad to assist prosecutors in the upcoming New York trials of Sept. 11 terror suspects.

    FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said yesterday the squad will include agents, analysts and other professional support staff with experience working on major trials and investigations.

    He says the squad will function as a task force with members from the NYPD, Port Authority Police, FDNY and several other agencies.

    Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder announced self-declared 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four accused henchmen will be tried in a court near Ground Zero.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Downtown Brooklyn workers, residents have mixed feelings on 9/11 terror trial in New York courthouse

    http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...ourthouse.html

    BY Ben Chapman
    DAILY NEWS WRITER
    Wednesday, December 16th 2009, 4:00 AM

    Downtown Brooklyn workers and residents were divided Tuesday over whether a suspected Al Qaeda operative should stand trial in the Cadman Plaza federal courthouse.

    "Everyone deserves a fair trial," said Andrea Demetropoulos, 57, a business owner from Brooklyn Heights. "I'm just not sure I want it happening here downtown."

    Guantanamo Bay detainee Majid Khan may face a federal civilian trial in Brooklyn, a source familiar with Justice Department discussions told the Associated Press.

    Khan, 29, is linked to terror plots in New York and worked closely with Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

    "People are definitely talking about the possibility of a terror trial in the building," said an attorney at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse at 225 Cadman Plaza East.

    "It would be a big logistical and security issue, but I think we're up for it. It's our job to handle important trials like this."

    An court spokesman said the venue for Khan's trial hasn't been decided and charges against him haven't been announced.

    Workers and residents are split over whether Downtown Brooklyn is a good spot for the trial.

    "It might be emotional but I think we're ready for it," said Brooke Allen, 53, a writer who lives in Brooklyn Heights. "We're always talking about fair trials. This is a chance to put our money where our mouth is."

    Trial spectators and workers could boost neighborhood businesses, said Harry Likourentzos, 35, manager at Park Plaza Restaurant, where about a quarter of diners come from the nearby district courthouse. "We always get a bump from big trials. This could double our lunch rush."

    But others are worried for Downtown's security.

    "I'm scared this could make Brooklyn a target," said Michael Carlin, a Brooklyn Heights attorney. "I hope they'll hold the trial somewhere else."

    In any case, Borough President Marty Markowitz said his office would have little to do with it, adding: "This issue is in the hands of the NYPD and law enforcement."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  10. #70
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    9/11 suspects are meeting to lay out strategy for New York trial

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...122303164.html

    By Peter Finn
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, December 24, 2009

    Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four co-defendants accused of organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks are meeting to plot legal strategy in advance of their transfer to New York and are learning as much as possible about criminal procedure in U.S. federal court, according to sources familiar with the detainees' deliberations.

    While the five men wanted to plead guilty in a military commission earlier this year to hasten their executions, sources now say that the detainees favor participating in a full-scale federal trial to air their grievances and expose their treatment while held by the CIA at secret prisons. The sources, who cautioned that the detainees' final decision remains uncertain, spoke on the condition of anonymity because all communications with high-value detainees are presumptively classified.

    The detainees' "brothers' meetings" were set up to allow them to prepare for a trial at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The military has allowed the gatherings to continue because charges have not been formally withdrawn in the commission process, despite the announcement last month that Mohammed and the others would face trial in Manhattan.

    The five accused have held two all-day meetings at Guantanamo Bay since Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said they would face federal criminal prosecution, according to Joseph DellaVedova, a spokesman for the Office of Military Commissions. DellaVedova said they break only for meals and prayers during the get-togethers. The military has also provided the men with computers in their cells at Guantanamo Bay to work on their defense.

    It is unclear when the men will be transferred to New York. The Obama administration has yet to file a 45-day classified notice with Congress that it intends to move the prisoners into the United States, according to Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman. That suggests that their initial appearance in court in Manhattan will not come before February; the trial isn't expected to begin until late 2011.

    A federal grand jury in New York is hearing evidence and testimony, according to a report by NBCNewYork.com, the Web site of a local station. Both the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan declined to comment on the report.

    Courtroom as pulpit?
    In hearings at Guantanamo Bay, the five detainees have trumpeted their role in the 9/11 attacks and broadcast their fealty to Osama bin Laden, causing some consternation among observers that the men will use their federal trial as a pulpit of sorts. Federal officials, though, say they are confident that some of the rhetorical flourishes that Mohammed, in particular, offered at Guantanamo Bay will be kept firmly in check in U.S. District Court.

    "Judges in federal court have firm control over the conduct of defendants and other participants in their courtrooms, and when the 9/11 conspirators are brought to trial, I have every confidence that the presiding judge will ensure appropriate decorum," Holder said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last month.

    Facing trial with Mohammed are four other alleged key players in the Sept. 11 conspiracy: Ramzi Binalshibh, a Yemeni; Walid bin Attash, a Yemeni better known as Khallad; Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, Mohammed's nephew and a Pakistani also known as Ammar al-Baluchi; and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, a Saudi.

    Among other issues being raised at Guantanamo, Mohammed and the others are discussing defense counsel, sources said. At the military tribunal, Mohammed, bin Attash and Ali represented themselves with assistance from both civilian and military lawyers. Lawyers for both Binalshibh and Hawsawi, however, had challenged the mental competence of their clients to represent themselves, and the issue had not been resolved when the Obama administration suspended proceedings at Guantanamo Bay.

    The lawyer question
    The issue of self-representation will have to be taken up again in federal court for all five defendants.

    In New York, lawyers for defendants in death cases are usually drawn from a "capital panel," a short list of attorneys with experience in death penalty cases. Attorneys will also need security clearances to handle classified evidence that is off limits to the defendants.

    The American Civil Liberties Union plans to ask the court to consider allowing some civilian lawyers from outside New York who worked at Guantanamo Bay to continue in the case. Mohammed's civilian attorneys at Guantanamo, for example, are from Idaho. They declined to comment on the issue of representation in federal court.

    The sources said the five have not yet established a common position on the role of defense counsel. But, the sources said, the five are beginning to understand the harsh conditions they will face in Manhattan and that meetings with lawyers will be their only human contact apart from any interaction with their jailers.

    The strategy meetings in Guantanamo will almost certainly end. Federal authorities are likely to impose "special administrative measures" on the defendants, according to Boyd.

    Apart from measures already in place at Guantanamo Bay -- including bans on social visits, phone calls and access to the media -- special measures can limit access to other inmates, a privilege currently enjoyed in Cuba by high-value detainees such as the 9/11 defendants.

    The attorney general can order the Bureau of Prisons to impose such conditions to protect national security and prevent the leak of classified information, according to federal guidelines.

    At Guantanamo Bay, Mohammed and 15 other high-value detainees held at the top-secret Camp 7 can share recreation time with another detainee; visit a media room with movies, newspapers and electronic games; or work out in a gym, according to a Pentagon study, which recommended even more communal activities. Mohammed and the others have been told by military defense lawyers that once in New York, they will be in a sparse 23-hour-a-day lockdown with one hour of individual recreation, according to the sources.

    "They are quite anxious about the new system and the new living conditions," one of the sources said. "They've been treated like rock stars compared to other detainees at Gitmo. And they know that all of that is about to change."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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