The Department of Defense announced today that the convening authority, Office of Military Commissions, referred charges to a military commission in the case of “United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin 'Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi.”
The charges allege that the five accused are responsible for the planning and execution of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., resulting in the killing of 2,976 people.
The convening authority referred the case to a capital military commission, meaning that, if convicted, the five accused could be sentenced to death. Pursuant to the reforms in the Military Commissions Act of 2009, each of the five accused have been provided, in addition to their detailed defense counsel, learned counsel, possessing specialized knowledge and experience in death penalty cases, to assist them in their defense.
Based on the allegations outlined in the charge sheets, the five accused are charged with terrorism, hijacking aircraft, conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, and destruction of property in violation of the law of war. The convening authority has referred all charges to a joint trial.
The charges are only allegations that the five accused have committed offenses punishable under the Military Commissions Act of 2009, and they are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
In accordance with Military Commissions rules and procedures, the chief judge of the Military Commissions Trial Judiciary will assign a military judge to the case, and the five accused will be arraigned at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within 30 days of service of the referred charges upon them.