9/11 detainee ruled mentally unfit for trial after torture at Guantanamo

Military judge says Ramzi bin al-Shibh, diagnosed with mental illnesses, is unable to defend himself; trial of alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, three others to go ahead

This undated photo shows Ramzi bin al-Shibh, an al-Qaeda member who is suspected of helping plan the September 11, 2001 attacks, and is detained at Guantanamo Bay. (HO/FBI/AFP)
This undated photo shows Ramzi bin al-Shibh, an al-Qaeda member who is suspected of helping plan the September 11, 2001 attacks, and is detained at Guantanamo Bay. (HO/FBI/AFP)

WASHINGTON — A judge at the US military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay on Thursday ruled that a Yemeni detainee who was tortured by the CIA is unfit to stand trial in a death penalty case, US media reported.

Ramzi bin al-Shibh, 51, had been scheduled to be one of five defendants in a trial related to the September 11, 2001, attacks on US cities by Al Qaeda that left almost 3,000 people dead.

But Colonel Matthew McCall, a military judge, said the prisoner was too psychologically damaged to help defend himself, The New York Times reported.

Doctors at the US base on the eastern tip of Cuba diagnosed Bin al-Shibh with post-traumatic stress disorder and secondary psychotic features, as well as a delusional disorder.

The military psychiatrists said his condition left him “unable to understand the nature of the proceedings against him or cooperate intelligently” with his legal defense team, the Times reported.

Bin al-Shibh has for years complained of being “tormented by invisible forces that caused his bed and cell to vibrate and that stung his genitals, depriving him of sleep,” the paper added.

In this file photo screened by US Military officials on September 7, 2021 shows a sign for Camp Justice in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. (Photo by Paul Handley / AFP)

Bin al-Shibh’s defense lawyer has claimed that his client was tortured by the CIA and went insane as a result of what the agency called enhanced interrogation techniques, which included sleep deprivation, waterboarding, and beatings.

He had been due to face pretrial proceedings on Friday with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, believed to be the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and three other defendants. Their hearing will proceed as scheduled, the paper said.

Bin al-Shibh was accused of helping organize the Al Qaeda cell in Hamburg, Germany, that hijacked one of two passenger jets that crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.

Another suicide airliner attack targeted the Pentagon in Washington, and a fourth plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania when passengers overpowered the hijackers.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure:
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.