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US releases new letter from 9/11 defendants

world Updated: Sep 23, 2009 15:44 IST

Alleged terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed calls the Sept 11 attack a "noble victory" and President Barack Obama a liar in a letter released by the military's war crimes court.

Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the terror attack on the US, and two of his co-defendants filed the letter last week with the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal in response to a government request to delay proceedings until the Obama administration decides whether to prosecute them in civilian court or in a revamped military proceeding.

A judge approved the 60-day continuance on Monday in a hearing at the US base in Cuba. Mohammed and the other defendants declined to attend the session. They said in the two-page letter they had no objection to the requested delay.

Instead, they quote the Quran to indicate they will continue with their strategy of offering no defence, "I put my trust in Allah. So devise your plot ... Then pass your sentence on me and give me no respite."

Mohammed and the two co-defendants, Walid Bin Attash, and Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, communicate directly to the court because they are serving as their own lawyers. There are two other Guantanamo prisoners charged in the Sept 11 attack but they have not been cleared to represent themselves.