9/11 mastermind for trial

Self-proclaimed September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay detainees will be sent to New York to face trial in a civilian federal court, an Obama Administration official said early today.

Bringing such notorious suspects to US soil to face trial is a key step in President Barack Obama's plan to close the terror suspect detention centre in Cuba.

The trial may also force the court system to confront a host of difficult legal issues surrounding counterterrorism programmes begun after the 2001 attacks, including harsh interrogation techniques.

The most severe method - waterboarding, or simulated drowning - was used on Mohammed 183 times in 2003, before the practice was banned.

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