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DOD releases redacted version of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Gitmo testimony

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense released censored audio recordings [MP3 file] of the March 9 Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) [DOD backgrounder] hearing of accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile] Thursday after months of controversy. The recording eliminated 10 of about 40 minutes of Mohammed's testimony [transcript, PDF] in which he said he masterminded the 9/11 attacks [JURIST report] and claimed responsibility for 29 other planned terror attacks. The edited portions reportedly contained Mohammed's rationale for why Islamic extremists have attacked the United States. US government officials said their decision to censor the tape was based on national security concerns, specifically fears that the eliminated portions could be used in terrorist propaganda. The Defense Department had previously refused to release [JURIST report] the audio recordings of Mohammed's testimony in their entirety.

Mohammed and 13 other top terror suspects [DNI profile, PDF] were given closed [JURIST report] CSRT hearings earlier this year at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] to determine if they qualified as "enemy combatants" [JURIST news archive] subject to indefinite US military detention. The Pentagon has also made audio recordings of the other hearings available online. Mohammed was confirmed as an enemy combatant following his March 9 CSRT hearing [JURIST report; DOD unclassified summary]. He was transferred last September from a secret CIA prison overseas [JURIST report] into military custody at Guantanamo Bay. AP has more.

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