By Carol Rosenberg
MIAMI — The Pentagon on Wednesday cleared the way for a death penalty trial for five Guantanamo Bay captives charged with engineering the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Retired Vice Adm. Bruce E. MacDonald, who is in charge of military commissions, signed off on the capital trial against alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 46, and four accused co-conspirators.
The men face charges of terrorism, hijacking aircraft, conspiracy and murder in violation of the law of war, among other charges, in the system set up by President George W. Bush within months of the attack, and then modified by President Obama in 2009.
Death penalty trial due for 5 accused of planning 9/11