The death-penalty trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men charged as the masterminds behind the September 11 attack in New York City is set for January 11.2021. Col. W. Shane Cohen of the Air Force announced the date on Friday.
The other men also charged include: Walid bin Attash, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ammar al-Baluchi and Mustafa al-Hawsawi.
The date was set so selection of a military jury could begin, which is expected to take months.
Before the trial date, prosecutors will have to determine how to conduct an MRI (magnetic resonance imagine) to see whether any of the defendants suffered brain damage while being interrogated. The defense is expected to use these findings to argue against execution.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confessed to the 9/11 attacks in post-torture interrogations conducted shortly after his arrival at Guantánamo in 2006.
Trials for the defendants had been delayed in the past for several reasons. Lawmakers were unsure whether to try the defendants in civilian court or by a military commission. President Barack Obama also delayed the case when he suspended the war court in an attempt to add more due process protections. In addition, Obama unsuccessfully wanted to try the group in a federal court in New York City.
2,976 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks in NYC. The trial will take place at Camp Justice at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.