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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 6, 2011 / 2 Nissan, 5771

Might a military jury deny 9/11 suspect's death wish?

By Richard A. Serrano






JewishWorldReview.com |

cASHINGTON — (MCT) His words leave little doubt about his role. It is his punishment that remains uncertain.

Four years ago, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed not only brazenly portrayed himself as mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; the senior al-Qaida operative also bragged to a U.S. military tribunal that he had directed other major terrorist attacks around the globe.

Mohammed claimed responsibility for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, for the "shoe bomber" attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner in 2001, for the deadly bombing of a nightclub in Indonesia, for planned assassination attempts against Pope John Paul II and Bill Clinton, and for aborted attacks in London, Los Angeles, Chicago and elsewhere.

He even boasted that he had personally decapitated Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi, Pakistan. "For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head," Mohammed added.

But it's not clear if his confessions, which mirrored those he made after he was waterboarded 183 times by CIA interrogators in 2003, can be used against him in military court. Moreover, now that the Justice Department has transferred his case and that of his four alleged co-conspirators to a military commission at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, winning a death penalty conviction may not come easy.


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Under military commission rules, Mohammed cannot plead guilty to a crime that carries the death penalty, although he told military authorities at Guantanamo Bay that he hopes to be executed. Experts said a jury made up of U.S. military officers might be less likely to grant that wish than a jury of citizens in lower Manhattan, where his trial initially was to have been held and anger over Sept. 11 still runs deep.

The U.S. military last executed a convicted criminal 50 years ago this month, when an army private was hanged for rape and attempted murder. Seven men now sit on military death row.

Among them is Hasan Akbar, a Muslim convert from Los Angeles who killed fellow U.S. soldiers in Kuwait on the eve of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Convicted of double murder, Akbar has clocked six years on military death row, with no execution in sight.

Mohammed's hopes to be executed, ironically, may help save his life. Sending him to his death could reward him with hero status in al-Qaida, where he would be viewed as a martyr. U.S. juries may be loath to oblige.

Zacarias Moussaoui, another al-Qaida conspirator, pleaded guilty to capital charges in federal court in Alexandria, Va., for trying to join the Sept. 11 plot. During his sentencing hearing in 2006, he twice took the stand and boasted about his terror credentials. He asked the jury to execute him but they sentenced him to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Still, civilian juries in federal court tend to hand out stiffer sentences than military juries. In the federal system, three executions have been carried out in the last decade, including that of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

"The federal courts are given to stricter sentences," said Eugene Fidell of Yale University, president of the National Institute of Military Justice. "He would have stood a better chance of getting the death penalty in Manhattan."

Capt. Glenn Sulmasy, who teaches military law at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, said no jury is likely to be sympathetic. "There is a sense of not wanting to satisfy his desire to win adulation for his cause," Sulmasy said. "But it is also hard for any jury to hear anyone say they want to kill innocent civilians and children."

According to Pentagon documents, Mohammed's computer hard drives contained detailed information about the Sept. 11 operation, including "code names, airline company flight number, target, pilot name and background information, and names of the hijackers."

Also recovered were photos of the 19 hijackers, their resumes, and the pilot license for lead hijacker Mohamed Atta, along with letters to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, and spreadsheets recording financial disbursements for the plot.

Furthermore, a 2009 federal indictment that prosecutors had hoped to use in New York said that Mohammed first suggested flying planes into U.S. buildings to bin Laden in 1999, and a month before the attacks, he personally advised bin Laden of the Sept. 11 date.

After he was captured in Pakistan in 2003, Mohammed was held at a secret CIA prison. He was transferred to the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in 2006. At a status review hearing there a year later, he presented a hand-written "final statement" claiming he had supervised some 30 terrorist plots, including one that sought to blow up a dozen airplanes over the Pacific.

But Mohammed took special pride in the Sept. 11 attacks, calling himself the "emir" or commander.

"I was responsible for their training and readiness for the execution of the 9/11 Operation," he said. "Also, I hereby admit and affirm without duress that I was a responsible participant, principal planner, trainer, financier, executor … "

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© 2011, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.