Tag Archives: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

FBI Questions Disrupt 9/11 Case At Guantanamo

This image reviewed by the U.S. military shows the guard tower at the entrance to “Camp Five” and “Camp Six” detention facilities of the Joint Detention Group at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Jan. 19, 2012.

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — Lawyers for Guantanamo prisoners charged in the Sept. 11 attack say the FBI has questioned more people who work as support staff on their legal teams than previously disclosed, a development that may prompt a new detour in an already snarled case as the war crimes tribunal reconvened Monday at this U.S. base.

The trial by military commission of the five prisoners was derailed in April when the attorney for one defendant revealed that a member of his support staff had been questioned at home by the FBI and asked to provide information on others who work for the defense.

Lawyers say they have since learned that at least three other staffers have been questioned in two separate investigations over the past year. They want the judge to conduct a full hearing with witnesses into the issue despite government assurances that the investigations have been closed.

“The facts as we know them give rise to a potential conflict of interest, and when that happens, U.S. Supreme Court decisions are clear: The judge has an obligation to conduct a thorough inquiry,” said David Nevin, the lead civilian attorney for defendant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Little is publicly known about the two investigations. Lawyers say the FBI questioned an investigator and a classified material analyst for the team representing defendant Ramzi Binalshibh; an investigator for defendant Mustafa al-Hawsawi; and a translator on the team representing Mohammed, who has portrayed himself as the mastermind of the terror attack on Sept. 11, 2001.

James Harrington, a civilian lawyer for Binalshibh, told the court his investigator denied speaking to the FBI and has since left his team. “We have had basically a spy within our team for a number of months,” he said.

Prosecutors have said the FBI questioned the evidence technician as part of a preliminary investigation into the mishandling of classified evidence and the probe ended without charges, though the matter was referred to the Defense Department for possible further action.

Nevin told the court that the questioning of support personnel has prompted him to curb his defense activities, prompting him to cancel an investigative trip to the Middle East, out of fear that he is under scrutiny. “I am trimming my sails. I am pulling my punches,” he said.

The government is seeking to resume pretrial proceedings for the five prisoners, who face charges that include terrorism and murder for their alleged roles planning and providing logistics in the attack and could get the death penalty if convicted. Since their May 2012 arraignment, there have been 10 pretrial hearings in what officials have called the most complex terrorism trial in U.S. history.

Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor, said the case is making “methodical and deliberate movement” toward trial but no date has been set. “Delay is frustrating and I acknowledge that.”

Lawyers for the defendants say the FBI investigations of defense team staff are part of a pattern of interference in their ability to represent the men, including the monitoring of written communications with their clients and the revelation in February 2013 that the rooms in which they meet with clients contained microphones apparently disguised to look like smoke detectors.

They are seeking a weeklong hearing in August that would feature testimony from the FBI agents and the defense team members who were questioned as well as a former member of the prosecution team who now works as a senior FBI official. Prosecutors say it’s time to move on.

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Malaysia Flight MH370 : 11 Terrorists Arrested on Suspicion of Involvement in Disappearance of Flight

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  • Suspects were arrested in the capital Kuala Lumpur and the state of Kedah
  • Said to members of violent new terror group said to be planning attacks
  • Interrogations came after demands from agencies including FBI and MI6
  • Manifest revealed presence of consignment but did not reveal its contents
  • Airline has admitted 200kg of lithium batteries was among the items
  • It refused to say what else, citing ‘legal reason’ related to ‘ongoing’ probe

Terrorists with links to Al Qaeda may have been behind the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

11 terrorists, who were reportedly arrested in the capital Kuala Lumpur and in the state of Kedah last week, have been interrogated on suspicion of being involved in the disappearance of the missing aircraft.

The suspects are said to be members of a violent new terror group who have been planning bomb attacks in Muslim countries.

Aged from 22 to 55, the militants are said to comprise students, odd-job workers, a young widow and business professionals.

An officer with the Counter Terrorism Division of Malaysian Special Branch said the arrests had heightened suspicion that the flight’s disappearance may have been an act of terrorism.

“The possibility that the plane was diverted by militants is still high on the list and international investigators have asked for a comprehensive report on this new terror group,” the officer said.

News of the interrogations comes two months after the Beijing-bound plane with 239 passengers on board disappeared from trace on March 8.

An international search operation was implemented with ships and planes deployed to scour the seas to find the wreckage of the aircraft, which was believed to have gone down in the Indian Ocean.

However, the rescue effort, costing hundreds of millions of pounds, has failed to recover any debris or signs that the aircraft had indeed crashed.

Explanations for its possible disappearance have been focused on a range of theories, from equipment failure, damage to the fuselage, a suicide mission and a terror attack implicating the pilots.

The mystery of the vanished Malaysia Airlines flight took a new twist with the international team probing the incident, considering the possibility that the plane may have landed rather than ended up in the Indian Ocean.

A Russian newspaper had earlier claimed that flight MH370 was hijacked and landed in Afghanistan where passengers were being held hostage.

The theory has been attributed to an alleged source within the country’s FSB secret service, according to newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.

In interviews conducted so far, suspects have admitted to planning “sustained terror campaigns” in Malaysia, but denied being involved in the disappearance of the airliner.

It was reported that during the trial of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama Bin Laden‘s son-in-law, Saajid Badat, a British-born Muslim from Gloucester, trained at a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, said he had been instructed to give a shoe bomb to the Malaysians.

“I gave one of my shoes to the Malaysians. I think it was to access the cockpit,” he said.

Badat, who spoke via video link and is in hiding in the UK, told the New York court the Malaysian plot was being masterminded by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the principal architect of 9/11.

Investigators were earlier exploring the possibility that pilot Zaharie Ahmed Shah had ‘deliberately’ redirected the plane off course.

Shah was also known to be a ‘fanatical supporter’ of Anwar Ibrahim’s People’s Justice Party, the opposition party which has been the principal thorn in the side of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), which has ruled Malaysia for 56 years.

Relatives of the 239 passengers and crew on board missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 were recently issued with death certificates.

The latest reports of possible terrorist involvement in the flight’s disappearance will further fuel the speculation that the passengers may have been held captive by a terrorist organisation.

The news comes as Malaysia Airlines said it will close assistance centres in Beijing and Kuala Lumpur for the families of the 239 passengers and crew on board the Boeing 777-200ER jet.

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