Self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay detainees will be sent to New York to stand trial in a civilian federal court, a US administration official said Friday.
The official said Attorney General Eric Holder plans to announce the decision later in the morning. The official was not authorized to discuss the decision before the announcement, so spoke on condition of anonymity.
Bringing such notorious suspects to US soil to face trial is a key step in US President Barack Obama's plan to close the terror suspect detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Obama initially planned to close the detention center by Jan. 22, but the administration no longer expects to meet that deadline.
It is also a major legal and political test of Obama's overall approach to terrorism. If the case suffers legal setbacks, the administration will face second-guessing from those who never wanted it in a civilian courtroom.