In a file photo Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged Sept. 11 mastermind, is seen shortly after his capture during a raid in Pakistan Saturday March 1, 2003, in this photo obtained by the Associated Press.
Alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and four other accused plotters will go on trial on Jan. 11, 2021, a U.S. military judge said Friday, according to the Office of Military Commissions.
KSM, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin ‘Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi all face the death penalty for their alleged roles in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed when hijackers crashed airliners into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon, and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The trial of the five men will take place at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The New York Times first reported that the date had been set.
It is the first time a trial date in the case had been set.
The 55-year-old KSM was captured by Pakistani security forces in 2003 and transferred to Guantanamo Bay in 2006. The other four defendants were captured in Pakistan in 2002 and 2003.
The 9/11 Commission report named KSM as “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks.”
He also has been linked to a series of other attacks by the al-Qaeda network, including the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing in Indonesia, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 2002 murder of journalist Daniel Pearl.
The 2021 trial date — which will come more than 19 years after the attacks occurred — was included in a trial conduct order issued by the presiding judge in the case, Air Force Col. W. Shane Cohen, who set a series of deadlines for the case.
The order also includes a list of materials the prosecutors must provide defense lawyers before Oct. 1.
Cohen, who is the third judge since 2012 to preside over the the long-delayed case, took over the case in June.