Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Horror of 9/11 revisited in Guantanamo military court

12 December 2015, 09:32

Guantanamo Bay Naval Base - The horror of September 11 2001 dominated proceedings in a Guantanamo Bay military court on Friday, a stark contrast from previous days of rambling testimony that strayed far from the events of 14 years ago.

The so-called "9/11 Five" - the men accused of plotting the terror attacks that killed about 3 000 people - were in court this week for pre-trial hearings ahead of an eventual capital trial that could still be years away.

Already, their prosecution is one of the longest in American history, and allegations of government misconduct in the years since the men's capture in the early 2000s have hampered prosecutors' attempts to nudge the case to trial. All five face the death penalty if convicted.

In response to a motion to have the entire case dismissed because President Barack Obama and other senior officials made public statements in which the accused appear already to have been deemed guilty, prosecutor Bob Swann sought to remind military judge Colonel James Pohl what was at stake.

"One might expect that the leader of this nation... might have something to say when 19 men hijack aircraft and fly them into buildings," Swann said.

"No one can and should think that the presidents of these United States would remain silent when 2 976 of its treasures are stolen."

He went on to describe the "unprecedented shock and suffering" of 9/11 and used graphic language to describe the deaths of hundreds of first responders and other victims.

The so-called 9/11 Five are: alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid bin Attash and Ramzi Binalshibh of Yemen, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali - Mohammed's nephew - and Mustapha al-Hawsawi of Saudi Arabia.

Defence attorneys want the case dropped because they say statements made by Obama, former attorney general Eric Holder and other senior officials have tainted any prospective jury pool.

"This process is undermined by the putrid stench of all the influence that has been visited upon it," al-Hawsawi's attorney Walter Ruiz said.

Defence attorneys also have a litany of complaints about government conduct, starting with the torture of their clients in the years following their capture.

They also say the government used bugs to listen in on attorney-client meetings and seized privileged notes.

While dismissal of the epic case is an extreme long shot, defence attorneys hope their "unlawful influence" motion might at least persuade Pohl to take the death penalty off the table.

Much of this week's proceedings were dominated by a still-unresolved issue of whether women prison guards should be allowed to escort the strict Muslim defendants to the courthouse.

Obama wants to close the prison at Guantanamo, but has been frustrated by a reluctant Congress.

The facility has housed about 780 detainees since the start of 2002. Currently, 107 remain.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...