Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of 9/11, and four alleged co-conspirators are being arraigned today in a special court in Guantanamo Bay, the US military camp in Cuba.
Among those in the courtroom will be six people who lost family in the attacks. They arrived at the base last night after being selected by lottery.
“It’s surreal but it’s reality and it’s been reality for the last 10 years,” said Edward Bracken who lost a sister. “So to be able to see those people tomorrow, it’s a lot of closure. You hear about them, you see the sketches. I’m going to see the people that killed my sister face to face.”
The defendants face a series of charges which could carry the death penalty but defence lawyers question the fairness of the process and say all five men were held in secret CIA prisons and tortured.
The military commission, as the court is offically known, has also been criticised as being a second class system rigged to convict.
The Obama administration had sought to move the case to New York, just a few blocks from where the twin towers used to stand, but political and public opposition proved too great.