The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

Five accused boast of 9/11 role

USA flagFive Guantanamo detainees accused of the 9/11 attacks have told US prosecutors that they are “terrorists to the bone”, US officials say.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the attacks, and the four others were giving their first detailed reply to the charges against them.

They set it out in a six-page document released by the US authorities.

The 11 September 2001 hijacked airliner attacks on New York and Washington left nearly 3,000 people dead.

Describing themselves as the 9/11 Shura Council – using the Arabic term for a consultative assembly – the men said the charges caused them no shame.

“To us, they are not accusations,” says the document, signed by Mr Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Walid Bin Attash.

“To us they are a badge of honour, which we carry with honour.”

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The Pentagon confirmed to the BBC that the five had filed the document with the military commission at the US naval base on Cuba.

“It appears to be merely another attempt by these detainees to garner publicity,” Pentagon spokesman Jeffrey Gordon told the BBC.

President Barack Obama suspended the proceedings against the men in January as the new administration evaluated the status of the roughly 245 detainees being held at the Guantanamo facility on Cuba.

In February 2008, the US admitted that it had interrogated Mr Mohammed using the controversial method of waterboarding, which simulates drowning.

At a pre-trial hearing at Guantanamo Bay last December, Mr Mohammed – who is regarded as one of the most senior operatives in Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network – said he wanted to plead guilty to all charges against him.

The Pentagon says he has admitted to being responsible “from A to Z” for the 2001 attacks.

He also reportedly said he had personally decapitated kidnapped US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 and played a role in 30 terror plots.

Mr Mohammed was captured in Pakistan in March 2003 and sent to the US detention centre in Cuba in 2006.

Source: BBC News

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