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Five In Guantanamo Offer 9/11 Guilty Pleas

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Five In Guantanamo Offer 9/11 Guilty Pleas

Law

Five In Guantanamo Offer 9/11 Guilty Pleas

Five In Guantanamo Offer 9/11 Guilty Pleas

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/97973433/97973418" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Five of the most prominent detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, say they want to plead guilty to plotting the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The defendants include Khalid Sheik Mohammed, his nephew Ali Abd al Aziz, who is also known as Ammar al Baluchi, Ramzi bin al Shibh, Walid Muhammad Bin Attash and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi.

Carol Rosenberg, a reporter for the Miami Herald, who is covering the hearings, says the judge is trying to determine what to do with a guilty plea in a death penalty case under the law that created this military court in 2006.

Alleged Sept. 11 Plotters Offer To Confess

In this photograph of a sketch by a courtroom artist, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (right) and Waleed bin Attash, two of the Sept. 11 attacks co-conspirator suspects, attend their arraignment inside the war crimes courthouse at Camp Justice, the legal complex of the U.S. Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay. Janet Hamlin/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Janet Hamlin/AFP/Getty Images

In this photograph of a sketch by a courtroom artist, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (right) and Waleed bin Attash, two of the Sept. 11 attacks co-conspirator suspects, attend their arraignment inside the war crimes courthouse at Camp Justice, the legal complex of the U.S. Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay.

Janet Hamlin/AFP/Getty Images

The self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and his four co-defendants have asked a judge at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to curtail efforts by defense attorneys and allow them to make immediate confessions, the judge revealed Monday.

U.S. Army Col. Steven Henley said he received a written letter from the five men saying they planned to discontinue filing motions to the court and wanted, instead, to be allowed to make full confessions.

Henley proceeded to speak to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has said he planned the Sept. 11 attacks, and the other defendants to see if they understand the potential impact of their request. Each defendant is facing the death penalty.

Mohammed and three of his co-defendants said they agreed with the letter. The last defendant was awaiting questioning by the judge.

Henley, who took over the case in November, read the letter during what had been expected to be a routine hearing.

"We all five have reached an agreement to request from the commission an immediate hearing session in order to announce our confessions ... with our earnest desire in this regard without being under any kind of pressure, threat, intimidations or promise from any party," Henley read from the letter.

Henley said he is not certain if the law governing the military tribunals would allow him to accept guilty pleas in a capital case. Hearings will continue this week.

From NPR and wire reports.