Sept. 11 Mastermind Smiles, Waves as He Returns to Gitmo Court

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, appeared inside Guantanamo Bay’s war court for the first time in more than 500 days on Tuesday following another massive delay in the case due to COVID-19.

Mohammed, dubbed “KSM” and described as “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks” in the 9/11 Commission Report, and some of his co-defendants were smiling and bantering with each other and their lawyers, with KSM briefly waving to the gallery.

KSM was a close ally of Osama bin Laden and was repeatedly waterboarded during numerous sessions while in U.S. custody. He is being tried alongside four co-defendants: his nephew, Ammar Baluchi, who sent money transfers to 9/11 hijackers inside the United States; alleged hijacking trainer Walid bin Attash; 9/11 facilitator Ramzi bin Shibh; and al Qaeda money man Mustafa Hawsawi.

Mohammed looked much different in court on Tuesday than he did in his infamous post-capture scowling picture in 2003 when he was overweight, mustached, and disheveled in a stretched T-shirt. He is trimmer now, and his gray beard has been dyed a reddish-orange. He was wearing a white robe, a Pashtun-style hat with a black wrap and a white cap, and white socks with sandals. He wore a dark mask when he was led into the courtroom by military guards but took it off when he sat down. He smiled and talked animatedly with his legal team and with his fellow al Qaeda members. He wasn’t wearing the camouflage vest that he often does in court. (Read more from “Sept. 11 Mastermind Smiles, Waves as He Returns to Gitmo Court” HERE)

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