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A US military court is being asked to withhold from the public a cockpit recording from a hijacked jet in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, because it contains evidence needed for upcoming trials, US government prosecutor Ed Ryan testified at a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE (Sputnik), Joanne Stocker — "[The voice recording] has significant events for the purposes of the government’s case-in-chief," Ryan told Judge James Pohl. "It proves hijacking in the first place. It proves intent. It proves the initial murders of the crew in the cockpit — the sounds of which can be heard — and, at the end, it contains the attempts to retake the airliner."
The recording from United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed before reaching its intended target in Washington, DC, is the only one that survived the September 11 attacks.
Ryan stated that the prosecution plans to play the audio at upcoming trials of suspects detained at the Guantanamo Bay prison.
He explained that the protective order must be in place before the US government can turn the audio over to lawyers who are defending terrorist suspects, including alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
The US government has said it believes the hijackers of Flight 93 intended to crash the plane into a Washington, DC landmark or government building, such as the US Capitol or White House.
Passengers ultimately took over the plane, which crashed in a rural area in the US state of Pennsylvania.
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