"To be treated as a common criminal is the last thing Khalid Sheik Mohammed wants," said Tom Malinowski, head of the Washington office of Human Rights Watch. "It disintegrates the warrior mystique that al-Qaeda promotes to sustain itself -- a mystique that a military trial would have reinforced."
The 9/11 Commission Report, discussing Mohammed's terrorist ambitions, called him a "self-cast star." "I am the mastermind of 9/11, not Osama bin Laden," he said in one court hearing.
While at Guantanamo Bay, where he has been held since September 2006, Mohammed said he wants to be executed so that he can die a martyr. It is unclear whether he will maintain that position in U.S. District Court.
Chances are that the US District Court will grant him his wish anyway.