aftermath of 9/11 attacks in New York

Mastermind Behind 9/11 Attack Awaits Trial After Two Decades

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attack, has already spent 20 years in jail. In 2003, the monster behind the cowardly attack on the Twin Towers faced incarceration. And since then, he has been awaiting trial for a crime that left around 2,977 humans dead. After the attack in 2001, both the FBI and Interpol registered Mohammed as the most high-profile terror suspect.

It was in 2003 when the forces captured him from his place in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Soon, the authorities dragged him into Guantanamo Bay- where he is till this day. The lack of a trial for one of the worst criminals in US history has definitely irked some people. David Kelley, a former attorney in New York, stated, “It’s an awful tragedy for the families of the victims.”[1]

The troubles criminals are put through in Guantanamo Bay have been pretty well-documented since 9/11. Ironically, this is one of the reasons that makes it difficult to hold a trial for Mohammed in a civilian court. The enhanced techniques of interrogation that Mohammed has been subject to were quite brutal. One report claims that the officials waterboarded him in 183 instances- which is tantamount to torture.

This also makes it quite difficult to fathom if any information that he provides at this point is even admissible in a civilian court. The efforts to try him in a tribunal court have also come across roadblocks. Sadly, the families of the victims of 9/11 are nowhere close to reaching closure than they were 21 years ago.

One individual, George Haberman, said in an interview, “It’s important to me that America finally gets to the truth about what happened, how it was done.” George’s daughter Andrea had lost her life after one of the planes crashed into her tower. She was 25 at that point. While Haberman has frequented Guantanamo Bay quite a few times, the proceedings have always been disappointing for him. 


Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Has Been Awaiting Trial For The Last 20 Years For His Role In 9/11

Interestingly, the petition hearings for the mastermind of the 9/11 attack were scheduled for this month. Unfortunately, they stand canceled. As it stands, the interrogation techniques utilized by officials in Guantanamo Bay are in violation of the Geneva Convention. With techniques such as electrocution and waterboarding, anything that he might disclose would immediately be considered inadmissible.

If a trial does end up taking place in the end, Mohammed could end up facing the injection. James Connell, one of the attorneys involved in the case, stated that both sides of the battle were looking to avoid a trial but bringing forth lengthier sentences. Unfortunately, any of the interrogation techniques didn’t yield anything conclusive. On the other hand, it went on to spark innumerable pretrial litigation over the violations that the CIA had a hand in.[2] 


In 2009, the Obama administration swore to put Mohammed on a fair trial. Obama had mentioned, “Failure is not an option.” As such, the officials started putting plans in motion that would see the mastermind behind the 9/11 attack tried before a federal court in Manhattan. Yet, as it turns out, the city authorities balked over the cost of security that it would entail.

The trial never took place and Mohammed spent a few more years in jail. There were talks of a military tribunal- which, too, never came to pass. And that brings us to 2022- 20 years since Mohammad’s residence in Guantanamo Bay began. Kelley, the US Attorney, expressed his surprise at the idea of a military tribunal. According to him, people in the legal community had been successfully prosecuting cases of terrorism. Therefore, the concept of a tribunal, “came out of the blue. Nobody knew it was coming.”


CIA’s Interrogation Techniques May Have Permanently Destroyed The Source Of The 9/11 Attack Plans

John Ashcroft- the Attorney General during those turbulent times vetoed any possibility of a military tribunal. With the years passing, it indeed becomes more difficult to prosecute Mohammed successfully. Kelley mentioned, “Evidence goes stale, witness memories fail.” While one can stake a claim that witness declarations might fail, the victims’ families would still be experiencing the pain.

Eddie Bracken, whose sister Lucy Fishman lost her life at the WTC, stated, “The whole world is looking at us and saying, ‘What are they doing after all this time?’ But I realize the case is a process that the world is seeing, that needs to be done under a microscope…It’s up to the United States to do its due diligence and make sure it’s done right. The wheels of justice turn. They turn slowly, but they turn. And when the time comes, and it’s said and done, the world will know what happened.”[3]

While Mohammed is still in Guantanamo, the American Military has disposed of the other masterminds of 9/11- Osama bin Laden, and Ayman al-Zawahri. The forces killed Bin Laden in a raid conducted in his place at Abbottabad in 2011. A drone killed Ayman al-Zawahri in 2022. People conducting the investigation into the terrorist attack stated that he had plotted the attacks for close to three years.

They also found a hard drive, that had pictures of all the hijackers. The computed hard drive also contained a letter from the Al-Qaeda leader and other information about the hijackers.

Keep Reading: Terrifying Footage of 9/11 Reminds Us Why We Should Never Forget that Tragic Day



  1. Mastermind behind 9/11 attack awaits trial after two decades.” UNILAD. Tom Fentone.
  2. 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed awaits trial after two decades.” NY Post. Jon Levine. September 11, 2022.September 10, 2022.
  3. Decades Later, 9/11 Self-Professed Mastermind Awaits Trial.” VOA News. Associated Press. September 11, 2022.
Mayukh Saha
Freelance Writer
Mayukh is a Content Marketer and Social Media Manager with over 5 years of experience in the industry. Mayukh believes in the power of content; how it can positively impact lives, scale businesses and touch people. In his spare time Mayukh likes to read about latest tech trends and loves to travel in the nature. You can reach him at [email protected]