The numerous delays and postponements of proceedings for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed have left family members of the nearly 3,000 victims of the nation’s worst terrorist attack still searching for answers and a measure of finality after the March 2003 capture of a man in Pakistan wanted for numerous depraved acts of terror.
The latest setback came last month when pretrial hearings scheduled for this fall were cancelled, one more in a string of disappointments for those waiting to see Mohammed pay for his crimes.
Eddie Bracken, a carpenter whose sister Lucy Fishman was killed at the trade center in the attacks, said he is somewhat frustrated but also understanding of the delays a decade after he attended a 2012 hearing for Mohammed and his co-defendants at Guantanamo.
“The whole world is looking at us and saying, ‘What are they doing after all this time?’“ he said.
While Mohammed has lingered at Guantanamo, the US killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a 2011 raid and deputy-turned-successor Ayman al-Zawahri in a drone strike in August. Asked whether it angers him that Mohammed is still alive, Bracken said he focuses on the fact that Mohammed has spent nearly two decades in military custody.
Gordon Haberman, a West Bend, Wisconsin, man whose 25-year-old daughter Andrea was killed in the September 11 attacks, said the delays in justice leave himself and other families frustrated. Haberman has traveled to Guantanamo four times.
“I have to know. I promised her I would follow this through to the end,” he said. “And Guantanamo was one of those avenues.”
Haberman said he’s also following civil litigation in New York federal court aimed at holding those responsible for the attacks financially liable.
“It’s important to me that America finally gets to the truth about what happened, how it was done,” he said.