Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba - The alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks showed up in the Guantanamo war crimes courtroom on Wednesday wearing a military-style camouflage vest over his white tunic, suggesting he may try to invoke protections reserved for soldiers.
A U.S. Army judge ruled on Tuesday that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-defendants charged with plotting the 2001 hijacked plane attacks could wear what they want to court, so long as it did not pose a security risk or include part of a U.S. military uniform like those worn by their guards.
The ruling came during a week of pretrial hearings in the September 11 case at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba.
The rationale for Mohammed's wardrobe choice was unclear. His lawyers had argued that he should be allowed to wear a woodland-patterned camouflage vest to court because he wore one as part of a U.S.-armed mujahideen force fighting against Russian troops that occupied Afghanistan in the 1980s.
“Mr. Mohammed has previously distinguished himself on the battlefield by wearing a military-style vest or clothing. He did it in Afghanistan for the U.S. government during that proxy war, he did it in Bosnia and he has a right to do it in this courtroom,” his defense attorney, Army Captain Jason Wright, said on Tuesday.