29.05.2024

Accused 9/11 plotter Ramzi bin al-Shibh isn’t fit for Guantanamo trial because of mental illness, board finds

One of the men accused of plotting the 9/11 terror attacks isn’t mentally competent to stand trial or assist lawyers in his defence in a capital proceeding at the Guantánamo Bay military prison, a government medical board found.

Ramzi bin al-Shibh’s case has been running since 2008.

He’s accused of organising the terror plot’s Hamburg, Germany, cell, researching US flight schools, wiring money to some of the 19 primary 9/11 hijackers, and reporting information to Al Qaeda’s leaders in Afghanistan.

In April, a military judge in the case ordered three mental health experts to investigate the man’s condition, as US officials prosecute him alongside 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and three others.

A military medical board filed a report under seal on Friday, which suggested that Mr bin al-Shibh has post-traumatic stress disorder with “psychotic features,” three individuals who saw the report told The New York Times.

The findings could convince Col Matthew N McCall, the judge overseeing the case, to sever bin al-Shibh from the proceedings and try him separately from the other four alleged plotters.

Mr bin al-Shibh’s lawyers have alleged the man was harassed with noises, vibrations, and other de-stabilising techniques while in US custody.

During his capital prosecution, he disrupted pre-trial hearings with outbursts.

Mr bin al-Shibh was captured in Karachi in September 2002 and claims he was tortured in custody in captivity in US-affiliated facilities in Afghanistan, Jordan, Poland, and Romania, according to The Rendition Project.

He entered Guantánamo in 2006

The complications in his prosecution are the latest to take place at the controversial island prison.

Last week, a military judge threw out the confession of a man who admitted to plotting the USS Cole bombing, finding the admission was tained by CIA torture.

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