The mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said that he would welcome becoming a "martyr" if found guilty in his military trial:
I personally think they should televise the trial and let the world see that this thug is getting a much fairer shake than he gave his victims not to mention a perfectly legitimate trial that is much fairer than he would receive in most of the countries he has called home.
Wearing thick glasses and occasionally fussing with his turban or stroking his bushy gray beard, Mohammed seemed noticeably thinner in his first appearance since his capture in Pakistan in 2003. It was a stark contrast to the image the U.S. showed to the world back then, of a slovenly man with disheveled hair, an unshaven face and a T-shirt.
Mohammed also sang verses from the Quran, rejected his attorneys and told Judge Ralph Kohlmann, a Marine colonel, that he wants to represent himself at the war crimes trial. The judge warned that he faces execution if convicted of organizing the attacks on America. But the former No. 3 leader of al-Qaida was insistent.
"Yes, this is what I wish, to be a martyr for a long time," Mohammed declared. "I will, God willing, have this, by you."
Mohammed and his four alleged co-conspirators each face death if convicted of war crimes including murder, conspiracy, attacking civilians and terrorism by hijacking planes to attack U.S. landmarks. The murder charges involve the deaths of 2,973 people at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania where passengers forced down their plane.
But that won't happen. In fact, the trial itself may be suspended because the Supreme Court will almost certainly be forced to rule on their legality before all is said and done.
Defense attorneys have called the trial procedures "fundamentally flawed" which may or may not be the case. There is probably enough of a gray area in the law to allow the tribunals but it will depend on the Supreme Court whether or not that is recognized.