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Trial Date Set For Men Charged With 9/11 Attacks

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The trial for five men charged with planning the September 11 attacks that left almost 3,000 people dead in three cities across the U.S. has been set for Jan. 11, 2021.

Col. W. Shane Cohen, an Air Force judge, set the trial date Friday, the New York Times reported. Five men were arrested in 2012 and charged with the death penalty following plane attacks in New York, Washington and a Pennsylvania field that killed 2,976 people on September 11, 2001.

Prosecutors have been asking for a trial date to be set since 2012, but this is the first time a trial judge has set a date, the NYT reported. It is unclear why a date was only set now.

Two planes hit the World Trade Center (WTC) in Manhattan after terrorists hijacked an American Airlines and United Airlines flight. Both of the towers at the trade center were hit and collapsed. A third American Airlines hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon the same morning, and passengers and crew managed to overtake hijackers on a fourth plane. That plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, killing 40 on board.

Rescue workers continue their search as smoke rises from the rubble of the World Trade Center 13 September 2001 in New York. (BETH A. KEISER/AFP/Getty Images)

Rescue workers continue their search as smoke rises from the rubble of the World Trade Center 13 September 2001 in New York. (BETH A. KEISER/AFP/Getty Images)

The attacks began at 8:46 a.m. when the north tower of the WTC was hit. The second plane hit the south tower at 9:03 a.m., and the Pentagon was hit at 9:37 a.m. The fourth plane crashed at 10:03 a.m, CNN reported.

Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, took responsibility for the attacks, according to a tape released by the government. (RELATED: 9/11 Hero Who Testified With Jon Stewart Dies After Battle With Cancer)

The five men being prosecuted were arraigned in 2012 at Guantanamo Bay, a military prison in Cuba, the NYT reported.

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