Alleged 9/11 plotters 'stoic' about trial in New York

Miami HeraldNovember 17, 2009 

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- The alleged 9/11 conspirators neither greeted with joy nor trepidation the news that they would be taken to New York City to face a civilian trial for the Sept. 11 attacks.

``They were stoic,'' detention center commander Rear Adm. Tom Copeman said in an interview Tuesday.

``They did not seem surprised,'' he added. ``They basically just said, `Thank you for the information.' There was nothing dramatic one way or the other.''

Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Friday that confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his four co-defendants, all former CIA captives, would be charged by federal prosecutors ``to answer to their alleged crimes in a courtroom just blocks away from where the Twin Towers once stood.'' He urged a death penalty trial.

The five men got the notice over the weekend, said Copeman, from the chief Army jailer at Guantanamo, Col. Bruce Vargo, and the prison camps staff attorney, Navy Capt. Don Martin. Both senior camp officers, they delivered copies of Holder's announcement in English and, for those who needed translation, in Pashto and Arabic.

All five have bragged about their alleged roles in the attacks, in comments to the military judge here. They said they welcomed martyrdom.

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