Khalid Sheikh Mohammed The admitted mastermind of 9/11 has said that he is responsible "from A to Z" for the attacks. Currently held at Guantanamo Bay, he has said that he wants to plead guilty and looks forward to becoming a martyr. He was captured in his home country of Pakistan in 2003 and was waterboarded while in U.S. custody. He has professed involvement in dozens of terror plots, has been charged with war crimes and faces the death penalty. Mohammed and four other defendants were set to be tried in a U.S. court once a venue had been picked. New York authorities objected to plans to try the defendants at a courthouse in lower Manhattan near Ground Zero. On April 4, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the case would be tried by a military commission.
Ramzi Binalshibh The Yemeni-born Binalshibh was part of the Hamburg cell with hijacker Mohammed Atta. He received Al Qaeda training in Afghanistan in 1999 and was allegedly supposed to be one of the 9/11 hijackers, but was refused a U.S. a visa four times, later taking a behind-the-scenes role in the plot. He was captured exactly one year after the 9/11 attack, on Sept. 11, 2002, in Karachi, Pakistan by Pakistani and U.S. intelligence agents. After being held at an undisclosed location by the CIA, he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay in 2006, where he remains pending trial. Attorney General Holder said in April that Binalshibh would be tried by a military commission at Guantanamo.
Osama Bin Laden The founder and leader of Al Qaeda was killed on May 1, 2011 by U.S. Navy Seals who raided his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The U.S. learned his likely whereabouts in August 2010, tracking him through an Al Qaeda courier. Previously, he had been believed to be holed up in the mountainous border regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Born in Saudi Arabia to a wealthy family, Bin Laden, 54 at the time of his deah, founded Al Qaeda more than 20 years ago after taking part in the successful resistance against the Soviets in Afghanistan. While initially denying responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, Bin Laden took responsibility for them in a 2004 taped statement, saying that he had personally directed the hijackers. Bin Laden had been wanted by the U.S. since the 1998 African embassy bombings, but eluded attempts by U.S. forces to capture or kill him in Afghanistan in late 2001. The U.S. believes that he was present during the battle for the Tora Bora cave complex in December 2001, but escaped. The U.S. government had offered a reward of $50 million for information leading to his capture or death. There is no word yet on who might collect any of that money.