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FAQ: 9/11 Families & the 9/11 Case at Guantanamo

Updated: May 15

May 2024


Peaceful Tomorrows is an organization founded by family members of those killed on September 11th who have united to turn our grief into action for peace. Below are some brief answers to questions about the 9/11 Case at Guantanamo.


(This is a working document - please reach out with any questions or concerns: email: elizabeth@peacefultomorrows.org)


How long has Peaceful Tomorrows been sending members to observe the trials?

  • Peaceful Tomorrows is the only 9/11 family organization to have been granted non-government organization observer status to attend the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay

  • PT representatives have attended pre-trial hearings since 2016



What work has Peaceful Tomorrows done as it relates to the 9/11 case?

  • Peaceful Tomorrows is a 22 year old organization that encourages a multilateral, collaborative effort to bring those responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks to justice in accordance with the principles of international law

  • Members have observed pre-trial hearings, drafted several Amicus briefs, and partnered with human rights organizations in the pursuit of justice, finality, and accountability



How long have the pre-trial hearings taken place? When is the trial date?

  • The pre-trial hearings are now in their 13th year. The arraignment took place on May 5, 2012. 

  • A trial date still has yet to be set. 


Who are the 5 defendants? 

  • Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Walid Muhammed Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi are accused of directing, financing, or training the hijackers on 9/11

  • As of September 2023, Ramzi Bin Al-Shibh has severed from the case, declared mentally incompetent to stand trial


What is a military commission?

  • A military commission is a military court of law traditionally used to try the law of war and other offenses


Who is the current judge?

  • On August 20, 2021, Colonel Matthew N. McCall, US Air Force, was detailed as the 8th military judge in the 9/11 case

  • Judge McCall announced his retirement on September 15, 2023, and anticipates he will remain on the case until December 2024; a new successor has yet to be named


What is a possible resolution to the case?

  • Plea agreements would provide a stipulation of facts from each of the accused, answering the who, what, when, where, and why questions of the September 11th attacks. Plea agreements would result in guilty verdicts that would prevent the possibility of ever appealing those verdicts or sentences.

  • A plea agreement could also allow a process for 9/11 family members to pose questions to the defendants; requesting information from the accused themselves.


How can I observe the legal proceedings against the 9/11 accused?

  • Family members and first responders can attend the proceedings in person on the Guantanamo military base through the Victim Family Witness Assistance Program or as an NGO observer representing Peaceful Tomorrows  

  • Additionally, the DoD has 4 Closed Circuit TV sites for 9/11 family members and first responders to view the proceedings in Fort Hamilton, Fort Meade, Fort Devens, and Fort Dix 


Where can I learn more about PT members’ experiences? 


Where can I learn more information? 

  • A more detailed primer on the case can be found here 

  • Articles: The New York Times’ Carol Rosenberg and Law Dragon cover the trials

  • Several former prisoners have written about their experience, including The Guantánamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi and Don’t Forget Us by Mansoor Adayfi

  • An article about a friendship between a former guard and former prisoner can be found here.

  • Information on the military commission, legal documents, and court transcripts can be found at www.mc.mil 


How can I get involved? 

  • Please reach out to the Rule of Law Committee at ruleoflaw.pt@gmail.com

  • Membership: If you lost a family member in the 9/11/2001 attacks and would like to join September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

  • Supporters: Individuals who did not lose a family member on 9/11, but are interested in supporting the work of Peaceful Tomorrows members


For additional information our to contact us directly, please email info@peacefultomorrows.org

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