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NEW YORK  —  The five men facing trial in the Sept. 11 attacks will plead not guilty so that they can air their criticisms of U.S. foreign policy, the lawyer for one of the defendants said Sunday.

Scott Fenstermaker, the lawyer for accused terrorist Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, said the men would not deny their role in the 2001 attacks but “would explain what happened and why they did it.”

SLIDESHOW: 9/11 Terror Detainees Face Trial in N.Y.

The U.S. Justice Department announced earlier this month that Ali and four other men accused of murdering nearly 3,000 people in the nation’s deadliest terrorist attack will face a civilian federal trial just blocks from the World Trade Center site.

see article @,2933,576219,00.html

     Despite “guilty” please, several of the masterminds of the 9-11 attacks, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, will be brought to the lower end of Manhatten to stand trial for their role in the attacks. From the Associated Press:

By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer Devlin Barrett, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 58 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay detainees will be brought to trial in a civilian federal courthouse in New York, near the site of the devastating 2001 terror attacks. Prosecutors expect to seek the death penalty.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced the long-awaited and politically fraught decision at a news conference Friday. He also said five other Guantanamo detainees, including a major suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, will be tried through the military commission process.

Holder said the Sept. 11 defendants should be tried where their crimes occurred. Nearly 3,000 people died when the World Trade Center towers were brought down by two hijacked jetliners, another hijacked jet hit the Pentagon and a fourth crashed in western Pennsylvania.

“After eight years of delay, those allegedly responsible for that attacks of September the 11th will finally face justice,” Holder said. “They will be brought to New York — to New York — to answer for their alleged crimes in a courthouse just blocks away from where the twin towers once stood.”;_ylt=As4MCceBB9dSAP8fUoSfRWis0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTM0c3NudWhsBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkxMTEzL3VzX2d1YW50YW5hbW9fdXNfdHJpYWwEY3BvcwMxBHBvcwMyBHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawM5MTFzdXNwZWN0c3Q

Question: Is this a trial of the attackers, or a trial of the United States?