Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, a.k.a. Shaikh Muhammad, Ashraf Ref`at Nabith Henin, Khalid `Abd al-Wadud, Salem `Ali, Fahd bin Abdullah bin Khalid (Kuwait)
Summary by Human Rights Watch
Detention “confirmed? by the U.S. government. 156
Described by the 9/11 Commission as “the model of the terrorist entrepreneur,” “KSM? was “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks.” 157 He was also allegedly the mastermind behind the murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002, USS Cole attack, 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the attack on a synagogue on the island of Djerba in Morocco in 2002, and virtually every other major al-Qaeda attack. Muhammad is allegedly the third-ranking official of al-Qaeda. He is said to be fluent in Arabic, English, Urdu, and Baluchi. KSM graduated from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in 1986 before moving to Peshwar, Pakistan, where he became acquainted with bin Laden. 158 KSM helped finance the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, masterminded by his nephew Ramzi Yusif. In 1994 he joined Yusif in the Philippines to plan the blowing up of American airliners flying from Southeast Asia. Yusif and two other conspirators were arrested and brought to the U.S. for trial, but Muhammad eluded capture following his indictment in 1996 for his role in the plot. In early 1999, bin Laden endorsed KSM?s plan of using aircraft as weapons and some months later in Kandahar they drew up targets which included the White House and the Pentagon; the Capitol; and the World Trade Center. KSM was subsequently the lead planner of the attacks. 159
U.S. and Pakistani officials announced that KSM was arrested on March 1, 2003 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, though there are rumors that he was in fact arrested earlier. Tom Ridge, the U.S. Homeland Security director, boasted: “We got a big one this past weekend.” White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said “Let’s just say it’s been a good day for all around the world, except for al-Qaeda.”
KSM?s two sons, Yusif al-Khalid (nine years old) and Abed al-Khalid (seven) were reportedly picked up in September 2002 by Pakistani security forces during an attempted capture of KSM. They were reportedly held in an undisclosed place until KSM?s arrest in March 2003 when they were reportedly transferred to custody in the United States, allegedly in order to force their father to talk. However U.S. authorities have denied that the two children were in the custody of U.S. officials, either in the U.S. or anywhere else, or that the boys had been interrogated by U.S. officials. 160
KSM was reportedly questioned initially by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) before being turned over to the United States at Chaklala Air Force base in Rawalpindi. There, he was reportedly flown to the CIA interrogation center in Bagram, Afghanistan, and from there, some days later, to an "undisclosed location." 161 On September 30, 2004, in the first Presidential debate, President Bush said that KSM was “in prison.” There have been persistent allegations that Khalid Shaikh Muhammad has been tortured in detention. According to the New York Times, “C.I.A. interrogators used graduated levels of force, including a technique known as ‘water boarding,’ in which a prisoner is strapped down, forcibly pushed under water and made to believe he might drown.” 162 The same accountadded “The methods employed by the C.I.A. are so severe that senior officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have directed its agents to stay out of many of the interviews of the high-level detainees, counterterrorism officials said. The F.B.I. officials have advised the bureau’s director, Robert S. Mueller III, that the interrogation techniques, which would be prohibited in criminal cases, could compromise their agents in future criminal cases, the counterterrorism officials said.”
Khalid Shaikh Muhammad has reportedly provided a wealth of information, though there are conflicting reports as to whether he began to provide it immediately or not. 163 In late March 2003, Time reported that KSM had "given U.S. interrogators the names and descriptions of about a dozen key al-Qaeda operatives believed to be plotting terrorist attacks on America and other western countries, according to federal officials" and had "added crucial details to the descriptions of other suspects and filled in important gaps in what U.S. intelligence knows about al-Qaeda’s practices." 164 An analysis of the dates of the intelligence reports of seventy-six interrogation sessions with KSM cited by the 9/11 Commission, however, suggests that most of the information provided by KSM on the 9/11 plot, at least, came only a year after his capture. 165 Much of the report of the 9/11 Commission concerning that plot is based on information provided by Khalid Shaikh Muhammad. The BBC cited intelligence sources as saying that Hambali (see below) was captured based on in information revealed by Khalid Shaikh Muhammad. 166 “He’s singing like a bird,” a senior European counterterrorism official told the New York Times in June 2004. 167 Extracts of Khalid Shaikh Muhammad’s interrogation reports were, after initially being refused, provided in Mounir Motassadeq’s trial in Hamburg, Germany. 168
 As per 9/11 Commission. See National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, 9-11 Commission Report, Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc., 2004, p. 488, n. 2.
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, 9-11 Commission Report, Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc., 2004, p. 145.
”Profile: Al Qaeda “Kingpin,”? BBC News Online, March 5, 2003 [online], http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/2811855.stm.
The above information, including the background on Muhammad, comes largely from the Staff Statements of the 9/11 Commission.
 See Olga Craig, “CIA holds young sons of captured al-Qaeda chief,” The Sunday Telegraph, March 9, 2003; Jess Bravin and Gary Fields, “How Do U.S. Interrogators Make a Captured Terrorist Talk”? The Wall Street Journal, March 4, 2003; Amnesty International, “Pakistan: Open Letter to President Pervez Musharraf,” AI Index ASA 33/003/2004, February 3, 2004
Mark Bowden, “The Dark Art of Interrogation,” The Atlantic Monthly, October 2003.
 James Risen, David Johnston, and Neil A. Lewis, “Harsh C.I.A. Methods Cited In Top Qaeda Interrogations,” New York Times, May 13, 2004.
 Compare Ronald Kessler, “The CIA at War,” St. Martin’s Griffin (2003), p. 278 (Khalid Shaikh Muhammad “began cooperating three days after his capture?) with “Saying His Prayers: Suspected al Qaeda Mastermind Keeping Quiet on Terror Plans,” ABC News, March 3, 2003 [online], http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/world/2020/mohammed030303.html.
 Elaine Shannon and Michael Weisskopf, “Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Names Names,” Time.com, March 24, 2003 [online], http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,436061,00.html.
 The first interrogation report referred to is dated March 12, 2002, followed by August 13, 2002, October 31, 2002, March 24, 2003, and March 27, 2003. Thereafter, the frequency of the reports cited picks up, with two in April 2003, six in March, six in June, twelve in July, five in August, six in September, four in October, six in November, five in January 2004, seven in February, two in March, six in April, two in May, and two in July.
 “Terror Suspect Hambali Quizzed,” BBC News Online, August 15, 2003 [online], http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3152755.stm.
David Johnston and Don Van Natta, Jr., “Account of Plot Sets off Debate over Credibility,” New York Times, June 17, 2004.
The evidence apparently benefited Motassadeq. KSM reportedly “never discussed the plot with [Motassadeq], although he helped Mr. Motassadeq arrange a trip to Afghanistan, where he spent time in a training camp sponsored by Osama bin Laden? (Mark Landler, “German 9/11 Retrial Gets Exculpatory Evidence from U.S.,” New York Times, August 12, 2004).