- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lawyers for the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden say the United States has finally granted access to interview the brain behind the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, at Guantanamo Bay. But the strings that are attached may in effect moot that permission, the attorneys complained.

One of the nine conditions: Attorneys for the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense will have to be present for the interview, The Associated Press reported.

“That could be a deal breaker,” said attorney Stanley Cohen, defense lawyer for Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, to U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, AP reported.

Why?

Mohammed has agreed to be interviewed — but only if attorneys for the U.S. government are barred from attending the interview, Mr. Cohen explained.

Mr. Cohen said his team wants to speak with Mohammed to decide whether or not to call him as a witness in their defense case of Abu Ghaith.

Jury selection is supposed to start Feb. 24. Abu Ghaith has been charged with conspiring to kill American citizens as he served in the role of al Qaeda spokesman, shortly after the Sept. 11 terror attacks on U.S. soil.

In court papers, defense lawyers described Mohammed as “the most qualified person alive” to help discern what Abu Ghaith knew about al Qaeda plots to kill Americans, AP reported.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Ferrara said the government would stand fast in its conditions. AP reported he told the judge: “Our position’s going to be that we made [Mohammed] available to the defense.”