| GEO World|
| 9/11 suspects ask to make 'confessions' at Gitmo|
| Updated at: 0140 PST, Tuesday, December 09, 2008|
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE: The alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and four co-defendants told a military judge Monday they want to immediately confess at their war-crimes tribunal, setting up likely guilty pleas and their possible executions.
The five said they decided on Nov. 4, the day President-elect Barack Obama was elected to the White House, to abandon all defenses against the capital charges. It was as if they wanted to rush toward convictions before the inauguration of Obama, who has vowed to end the war-crimes trials and close Guantanamo.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and two others said they would postpone entering pleas until the military determines their two co-defendants are mentally competent. "We want everyone to plead together," he said.
Mohammed and another defendant have said they would welcome execution as a path to martyrdom, but the announcement came as a shock to some of the victims' families.
A select group of relatives of the 2,973 people killed on Sept. 11, 2001 were able to see the proceedings in person. Maureen Santora, of Long Island City, N.Y., whose son Christopher died responding to the World Trade Center attacks, wore a black top and black pants and clutched a photo of him in his firefighter uniform.