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CIA photos of ‘black sites’ demanded for 9/11 trials

The trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other defendants, accused of planning the September, 11, 2001 attacks, may be delayed yet again due to the discovery of CIA photographic evidence of secret locations or “black sites.”

The defense attorneys have requested to see photographs relevant to the trial, which means government officials will need time to analyze a collection of about 14,000 photographs. A Senate investigation of CIA interrogation procedures revealed the existence of the images.

The images show the inside and outside of “black sites” and of naked prisoners being transferred to other locations, according to a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the classified nature of the case.

The Washington Post quoted Air Force Capt. Michael Schwartz, a military attorney for 9/11 defendant Waleed bin Attash, “If the government does provide these photos to the defense — which is still an ‘if’ at this point — it would be better late than never.”

The Senate closed its investigation last year, a product of a five-year review by Democratic staffers of 6.3 million internal CIA documents.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other defendants accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks are facing the death penalty and are in military custody at Guantánamo Bay.

The case against the alleged organizers of the 9/11 attacks began in 2008 during the Bush administration. President Obama tried to move the case to a trial in New York federal court. After that effort failed, the case returned to military hands in 2011.

Black sites are locations where highly classified operations occur. The term also refers to secret prisons operated by CIA, which are usually outside of the U.S. PBS created an interactive map of CIA black sites.

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