Judge Sets Trial Date For 9/11 Plotters

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, four others to face 2021 trial

The main gate at the prison in Guantanamo at the US Guantanamo Naval Base (SYLVIE LANTEAUME/AFP/Getty Images)

A military judge has set the date for the trial of five men who planned the 9/11 attacks. The trial will be held at Guantanamo Bay on Jan. 11, 2021, according to the New York Times.

The five men include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, considered the mastermind of the attacks that saw two airplanes flown into the World Trade Center in New York City, one airplane crashed into the Pentagon in Virginia, and one airplane crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside. The attacks killed almost 3,000 people.

Mohammed was also connected to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, the bombing of a Bali nightclub in 2002 that killed more than 200 people, the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002, and the suicide bombing of the El Ghriba synagogue in Tunisia the same year. He was captured in 2003 in Pakistan and has since remained in U.S. custody.

The trial marks the second time the U.S. military has attempted to try Mohammed. He attempted to plead guilty at a hearing in 2008, but the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the rules of evidence, and the trial did not proceed.

The five terrorists were arraigned again in 2012 and will now face the death penalty.

The Times reported that the judge also issued a scheduling order requiring prosecutors to provide a list of materials to the defense team by Oct. 1 to reach the Jan. 2021 trial date.

The trial will be held in "Camp Justice," the name given to the area at Guantanamo Bay where military trials are held.

The news comes alongside reports of the Trump administration working towards a deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan as U.S. involvement in the country reaches its eighteenth year. President Donald Trump expressed his desire to reduce troop commitments to 8,600 after the peace deal is struck.

The deal would draw down U.S. troop levels in exchange for a promise from the Taliban that the country not become a safe haven for terrorist groups.