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June 05, 2008

Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh Both Ask For "Martyrdom"

I accept.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, appearing for the first time since his capture five years ago, said he would welcome becoming a "marytr" after a judge warned Thursday that he faces the death penalty for his confessed role as mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Wearing thick glasses and occasionally fussing with his turban or stroking his bushy gray beard, Mohammed seemed noticeably thinner than the image of a slovenly man with disheveled hair, an unshaven face and a T-shirt that the U.S. showed to the world after his capture in Pakistan.

Mohammed chanted 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.

Despite his claims of welcoming martyrdom, brave KSM seems to be attempting a defense to avoid just that:

Mohammed told a military review panel last year that he approached Osama bin Laden with the proposal to hijack passenger planes and crash them into landmark U.S. buildings, then oversaw execution of the plan "from A to Z," according to U.S. military transcripts of the hearing.

But Mohammed cast doubt on that transcript in Thursday's hearing.

"They mistranslated my words and put many words in my mouth," he said in broken English learned as an engineering student in North Carolina.

He later objected when the judge repeatedly told one of his lawyers to sit down, telling the court, "It is inquisition, it's not trial."

"All of this has been taken under torturing," he added, "You know that very well."

Binalshibh and also asked for death:

Binalshibh, too, said he has ``been seeking martyrdom for five years. I tried for 9/11 to get a visa and I could not.'' He is accused of trying four times to get into the U.S. in 2000 by seeking travel visas, which were denied.

``If martyrdom happens to me today, I welcome it. God is great! God is great! God is great!'' Binalshibh told the trial judge, Marine Colonel Ralph Kohlmann. He rejected suggestions by Lachelier that taking psychotropic drugs impaired his decision to waive counsel.

``My mental capacity is absolutely fine,'' Binalshibh said.

The judge said ``it appears to me you understand your counsel rights and are making this choice voluntarily.'' Still, Kohlmann said he would explore the possible effects of the medication on that decision.

While they're talking a good game about a long-desired martyrdom, they're puling the typical crap -- refusing counsel, feigning insanity and suicidal impulses which are then offered to the court by their rejected advocates, etc. --calculated to avoid just that.

They don't want to be "martyred." They just want to be on record as wanting that. They're acting like any cowardly rats about to face justice, scrambling to avoid it by any dodges possible.

They don't want to be executed for their crimes. KSM is even claiming he's innocent, more or less.

That will make their executions all the more satisfying.

For people claiming to have done Allah's will, they seem in no hurry to meet him and get a hearty slap on the back.

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posted by Ace at 05:22 PM

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