The US Defense Department has censored an audio tape of the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks speaking at a military hearing - cutting out Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's justification for waging jihad against the United States.
After months of debate by several federal agencies, the department released the tape Thursday. Cut from it was 10 minutes of a more than 40-minute closed court session at Guantanamo Bay to determine whether Mohammed should be declared an "enemy combatant."
Since the March hearing, he has been assigned "enemy combatant" status, a classification the Bush administration says allows it to hold him indefinitely and prosecute him at a military tribunal.
Officials from the CIA, FBI, State Department and others listened to the tape and feared it could be copied and edited by other militants for use as propaganda, officials said.
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