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Gitmo 9/11 suspects want to plead guilty

Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged Sept. 11 mastermind seen here shortly after his capture in 2001, told a U.S. military court today, June 5, 2008 in Guantanamo Bay, that he wishes for the death penalty so that he can become a martyr. Mohammed and four accused co-conspirators appeared in court at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba for the first time on charges that could result in their execution. (UPI Photo/Handout)
Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged Sept. 11 mastermind seen here shortly after his capture in 2001, told a U.S. military court today, June 5, 2008 in Guantanamo Bay, that he wishes for the death penalty so that he can become a martyr. Mohammed and four accused co-conspirators appeared in court at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba for the first time on charges that could result in their execution. (UPI Photo/Handout) | License Photo

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Accused Sept. 11, 2001, mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainees said Monday they want to confess and plead guilty.

With families of the terror attack victims watching, the five alleged co-conspirators told the military tribunal they wanted to confess to the capital charges against them, the Los Angeles Times reported. However, three of the five later declined to enter guilty pleas when the other two were denied the opportunity to do so while the court evaluates their competency to stand trial, the newspaper said.

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Mohammed told the judge, U.S. Army Col. Stephen Henley, the five defendants wanted to act together when they confessed to their roles.

Maureen Santora, whose 23-year-old son Christopher died in the Sept. 11 attacks, held up a photograph of her son in his firefighter's uniform.

"I wanted my son to be part of it. I wanted him to see it," Santora said. Santora said called the defendants "hateful individuals in every way."

"When they admitted their guilt, my reaction was, 'Yes!' My inclination was to jump up and say 'Yay!' But I managed to maintain my decorum," she said.

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Jennifer Daskal, senior counter-terrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch, said the military commissions set up to hear terrorism cases were inadequate.

"These cases belong in federal court, with established precedent and established rules, where the verdicts will have the legitimacy they deserve," Daskal said.

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