Reporting Alex DeMetrick
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– He says he planned the murder of 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11. On Saturday, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has a hearing in a prison courtroom in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which could lead to his death.
Alex DeMetrick reports Fort Meade is one of a handful of sites in the United States where the hearing will be seen.
Of all the terror suspects held in the cells at a U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, none approaches Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s notorious status.
He admits he planned the 9/11 attacks for al-Qaeda.
He will finally be arraigned for murdering 3,000 Americans Saturday morning.
“We have to ensure that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others who are accused of these heinous crimes are brought to justice, and the procedure is now underway to make that happen,” Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said.
Some families who lost loved ones in the attacks have arrived at the U.S. base in Cuba for the hearing. It sets in motion a military trial for Mohammed and a live feed will be sent to Fort Meade for other families to view. A few seats will also open to the public.
Even if he pleads guilty, a key witness will be a man who graduated from Owings Mills High School and later joined al-Qaeda– Majid Khan.
“This guy was in the center of things. He was part of 14 high-grade terror suspects isolated,” Michael Greenberger, a University of Maryland counter-terrorism analyst, said.
To avoid his own possible death sentence, Majid Khan will testify against Mohammed. That’s critical, because it could corroborate information Mohammed provided, but only after being water-boarded.
“My expectation is, he’s going to be a very valuable witness to the United States,” Greenberger said.
That’s because it could independently verify Mohammed as the mastermind of 9/11 without the legal entanglements of torture.
Since his admission to plotting the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed says he welcomes the death penalty to become a martyr.