9/11 Mastermind to Gitmo Judge: Martyr Me

As trial opens, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed requests death penalty
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2008 10:28 AM CDT
The sun sets over Camp Justice and its adjacent tent city, the legal complex of the U.S. Military Commissions, at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, in Cuba, Wednesday, June 4, 2008.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, Pool)
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(Newser) – Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man said to have planned the Sept. 11 attacks, asked a judge to be put to death today, MSNBC reports. During his arraignment at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base a military judge told Mohammed he could face the death penalty. Mohammed replied, “Yes, this is what I wish, to be a martyr for a long time.”

Mohammed, wearing a turban and a long beard, looked quite different than the photograph widely circulated after his 2003 capture in Pakistan. Four other suspects linked to the 2001 terror attacks on the US were also arraigned before the long-awaited tribunal; each faces war-crimes, conspiracy, and other charges in the deaths of 2,973 people.