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9/11 families in Mohammed hearing lottery

Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England tours the construction progress of Pentagon Memorial Park, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on September 7, 2007. (UPI Photo/Kevin Dietsch) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/e4042d624f0cce0517075c87b9d95a7e/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England tours the construction progress of Pentagon Memorial Park, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on September 7, 2007. (UPI Photo/Kevin Dietsch) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- The Pentagon plans a lottery to pick family members of victims of the 2001 attacks on the United States to attend a hearing for the reputed terrorist leader.

Five will be chosen to watch a military commissions hearing Dec. 8 ahead of al-Qaida kingpin Khalid Sheik Mohammed's trial at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, The Miami Herald reported Monday. The hearing will be for Mohammed and four others accused of conspiring to train, finance and orchestrate the hijackings that killed nearly 3,000 people in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

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Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England has endorsed the plan to airlift family members of those killed in the attacks to the U.S. Navy base in Cuba.

''Soon, some of those victim families will have the opportunity to see firsthand the fair, open and just trials of those alleged to have perpetrated these horrific acts,'' England said.

No trial date has been set.

Pentagon officials said the hearing date marks the implementation of a long-promised program that will enable thousands of family members of the nearly 3,000 Sept. 11 dead to watch the trial through satellite feeds to four U.S. military bases.

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