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Pentagon approves death penalty charges for 5 alleged 9/11 conspirators

[JURIST] Death penalty charges [JURIST report] against Guantanamo detainees Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and four other men allegedly involved in planning the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States have been confirmed by the Convening Authority [DOD press release] for the US military commissions and sent to defense lawyers, the Miami Herald reported Tuesday. Charges against a sixth man, Mohammed al-Qahtani, were dropped. The Herald obtained a copy of the document, which was e-mailed late Monday. The five defendants will be put on trial together at a date yet to be determined. The Miami Herald has more.

The US Department of Defense released censored audio recordings [MP3 file] of Mohammed's testimony [transcript, PDF] to his Combatant Status Review Tribunal [DOD backgrounder] last September. He said he had masterminded the 9/11 attacks [JURIST report] and claimed responsibility for 29 other planned terror attacks. In February 2008, CIA Director Michael Hayden publicly acknowledged [JURIST report] that Mohammed had been subjected to waterboarding [JURIST news archive] during interrogation.

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