By BEN FOX, Associated Press
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — The self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks repeatedly declined to answer a judge's questions Saturday and his co-defendants knelt in prayer in what appeared to be a concerted protest against the military proceedings.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men appeared for the first time in more than three years for arraignment at a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, charged with 2,976 counts of murder for the 2001 attacks.
The hearing quickly bogged down before they could be arraigned. The men took off the earphones that provide Arabic translations and refused to answer any questions from the judge, Army Col. James Pohl, dramatically slowing a hearing that is heavy on military legal procedure.
At one point, two defendants got up and prayed alongside their defense tables under the watchful eyes of troops arrayed along the sides of the high-security courtroom on the U.S. base in Cuba.
Guantanamo testimony: U.S. let bin Laden's top bodyguard go
By Carol Rosenberg | The Miami Herald
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — Soon after Osama bin Laden's driver got here in 2002, he told interrogators the identity of the al Qaeda chief's most senior bodyguard — then a fellow prison camp detainee.
But, inexplicably, the U.S. let the bodyguard go.
This startling information was revealed in the fourth day of the war crimes trial of Salim Hamdan, 37, facing conspiracy and material support for terror charges as an alleged member of bin Laden's inner circle.
Michael St. Ours, an agent with the Naval Criminal Intelligence Service, NCIS, provided the first tidbit. He testified for the prosecution that his job as a prison camps interrogator in May 2002 was to find and focus on the bodyguards among the detainees.
And Hamdan helped identify 30 of them — 10 percent of the roughly 300 detainees then held here. They had just been transferred to Camp Delta from the crude compound called Camp X-Ray, and U.S. intelligence was still trying to unmask them.