Category Archives: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

KSM and U.S. justice

Khalid Sheikh MohammedKSM and U.S. justice
by Anar Virji (Al-Jazeera Correspondent in Washington, D.C.)

It was a sharp, unexpected statement delivered in measured Arabic in just a few minutes. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s comments to a courtroom in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on Wednesday were surprising. Mohammed is accused of being the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks in the United States; he’s charged with war crimes and murder, and faces the death penalty if convicted. His trial hasn’t yet begun; the court is hearing pre-trial motions this week.

It started when Mohammed raised his hand. Defence lawyers were making their case against presumptive classification – the idea that anything the defendants say will be automatically classified – and Mohammed indicated he had something to say. The courtroom seemed confused. And after some discussion, the judge hearing the case, James Pohl, agreed to a 15-minute recess so Mohammed’s lawyer could speak to him about what he wanted to say, and make sure it wasn’t classified and could be said in open court.

Sitting more than 2,000 kilometres away in a press viewing room on a US army base in Ft Meade, Maryland, I was confused. The room buzzed with ideas about what he might say. Something about the camouflage vest that he had just been granted permission to wear just the previous day. Or maybe the dye he used to colour his beard an autumnal orange that we wondered about. I’d made the hour-long drive from my home in Washington DC to Ft Meade for three days to monitor the hearings in case something happened. And this was definitely something.

When the video from the courtroom came back up, Mohammed spoke for several minutes, from his seated position at the end of a table where he sits with his lawyers. Journalists are not allowed to record any part of the hearings, so I typed furiously, knowing I wouldn’t be able to go back to listen to his statement again.

He spoke directly about his case advising, “When the government feels sad for the death, the killing of 300 people killed on September 11th, we should also feel sorry that the American government represented by General Martins [chief prosecutor in the case against Mohammed] and others have killed thousands of people. Millions.”

Mohammed continued on to reference the April 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, saying, “Many can kill people under the name of national security, and to torture people under the name of national security and defame children under the name of national security – underage children – I don’t want to be long but I can say that the President can take someone and throw him under the sea in the name of national security. And so he can also legislate assassinations under the name of national security for American nationals, American citizens.” The last sentence was a reference to two drone strikes in Yemen that killed Americans.

He ended with a plea to the judge: “My only advice to you that you do not get affected by the crocodile tears.  Because your blood is not made out of gold and ours is not made out of water. We are all human beings.”

At the end of it all, I was stunned that this had happened. This had nothing to do with the motion being heard, and it seemed out of place to have allowed Mohammed to make the statement. Judge Pohl, too, appeared stunned, noting that while he didn’t interrupt Mohammed, this sort of speech was a one-time occurrence not normal to the proceedings. He said:

“I’m not going to again entertain personal comments of the accused of the way things are going. This is his personal thought; he has the right to that opinion but he doesn’t have the right to interrupt proceedings. This is not to be interpreted as this is an acceptable procedure. This was a one-time thing for Mr. Mohammed. That doesn’t mean each of the accused gets one time.”

A few minutes, the day’s session was over. Pohl recessed for the day, saying on Thursday he’ll turn his attention back to presumptive classification. And on Thursday, I’ll make the drive back to Ft Meade to see what happens.

KSM acts again, now in military garb, for his Washington masters
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Trial: Alleged 9/11 Mastermind Claims America Killed More People Than Hijackers Did

Reuters  |  By Jane Sutton Posted: 10/17/2012 10:54 pm Updated: 10/18/2012 10:39 am
GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba, Oct 17 (Reuters) — The alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks told the Guantanamo courtroom on Wednesday that the U.S. government had killed many more people in the name of national security than he is accused of killing.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed was allowed to address the court at a pretrial hearing focused on security classification rules for evidence that will be used in his trial on charges of orchestrating the hijacked plane attacks that killed 2,976 people.

“When the government feels sad for the death or the killing of 3,000 people who were killed on September 11, we also should feel sorry that the American government that was represented by (the chief prosecutor) and others have killed thousands of people, millions,” said Mohammed, who wore a military-style camouflage vest to the courtroom.
He accused the United States of using an elastic definition of national security, comparable to the way dictators bend the law to justify their acts.
“Many can kill people under the name of national security, and to torture people under the name of national security, and to detain children under the name of national security, underage children,” he said in Arabic through an English interpreter.

“The president can take someone and throw him into the sea under the name of national security and so he can also legislate the assassinations under the name of national security for the American citizens,” he said in an apparent reference to the U.S. killing and burial at sea of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the U.S. use of drone strikes against U.S. citizens accused of conspiring with al Qaeda.

He advised the court against “getting affected by the crocodile tears” and said, “Your blood is not made out of gold and ours is made out of water. We are all human beings.”

The judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, gave Mohammed permission to speak and did not interrupt him, but said he would not hear any further personal comments from the defendants.

Mohammed’s lecture to the court came during a week of pretrial hearings at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba for him and four other captives accused of recruiting, funding and training the hijackers.

He did not indicate why he wore a camouflage vest, but his wardrobe choice suggested he might try to invoke protections reserved for soldiers.

Pohl had ruled on Tuesday that the defendants could wear what they want to court, so long as it did not pose a security risk or include any part of a U.S. military uniform like those worn by their guards.

Mohammed’s lawyers had argued that he should be allowed to wear a woodland-patterned camouflage vest to court because he wore one as part of a U.S.-armed mujahideen force fighting against Russian troops that occupied Afghanistan in the 1980s.

“Mr. Mohammed has previously distinguished himself on the battlefield by wearing a military-style vest or clothing. He did it in Afghanistan for the U.S. government during that proxy war, he did it in Bosnia and he has a right to do it in this courtroom,” his defense attorney, Army Captain Jason Wright, argued on Tuesday.

The United States is trying Mohammed and the other alleged al Qaeda captives as unlawful belligerents who are not entitled to the combat immunity granted to soldiers who kill in battle.

They could face the death penalty if convicted of charges that include conspiring with al Qaeda, attacking civilians and civilian targets, murder in violation of the laws of war, destruction of property, hijacking and terrorism.

Under the Geneva Conventions, one of the things that separate soldiers from unlawful belligerents is the wearing of uniforms that distinguish them from civilians. Soldiers must also follow a clear command structure, carry arms openly and adhere to the laws of war.

Wright had argued that forbidding Mohammed from wearing military-style garb could undermine his presumption of innocence in the war crimes tribunal.

“The government has a burden to prove that this enemy prisoner of war is an unprivileged enemy belligerent,” Wright said.

The latest joke from Gitmo: ‘We are terrorists’

* MARCH 10, 2009, 5:07 P.M. ET

Accused 9/11 Suspects Declare Themselves ‘Terrorists to the Bone’


WASHINGTON — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others accused in the Sept. 11, 2001, conspiracy called U.S. allegations "badges of honor" and declared themselves "terrorists to the bone" in a written statement slated for public release Tuesday.

A courtroom drawing reviewed by the military shows Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, top, and co-defendants Walid Bin Attash, second from top, and Ramzi Bin al Shibh, left, attending a pre-trial session in Guantanamo Bay in December.

The six-page statement, dated March 1, was filed with a military judge at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in response to nine charges filed by military prosecutors last year. Titled "The Islamic Response to the Government’s Nine Accusations," the statement mocks American authorities for failing to foil the Sept. 11 plot and casts the U.S. as a terrorist aggressor whose own actions provoked the suicide hijackings that killed nearly 3,000 people.

The statement calls the conspiracy charge "laughable."

"Were you expecting us to inform you about our secret attack plans?" it says. "Blame yourselves and your failed intelligence apparatus and hold them accountable, not us."

"Also, as the prophet has stated: ‘War is to deceive,’" it states, in one of several passages that assert religious sanction for al Qaeda attacks.

Responding to charges of attacking civilians, the statement cites as grievances not only the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which occurred after the Sept. 11 attacks, but also U.S. policy going back to World War II. "Did you forget about your nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki," the statement reads.

In answer to the war crimes charge, the men refer to their own imprisonment in secret Central Intelligence Agency prisons, where U.S. officials acknowledge Mr. Mohammed and two other prisoners were subjected to waterboarding, or simulated drowning. Attorney General Eric Holder has described waterboarding as torture.

"We are the best example of such violations and your ‘Black Sites’ for torturing prisoners," the statement reads, adding the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay as further examples of prisoner abuse by the U.S.

The men respond to the allegation of providing material support for terrorism by condemning Washington’s aid to both Israel and Arab and Muslim governments.

Not only is the U.S. the principal ally of "the terrorist state of Israel," it also "supports and finances the terrorist regimes that govern the countries of the Arab world, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan," the statement says. (Pakistan is a predominantly Muslim country, but most Pakistanis are not ethnically Arab.)

The statement ends by praising the 19 suicide-hijackers and predicting America’s demise. "You will be greatly defeated in Afghanistan and Iraq," it says, later adding: "Your fall will be just as the fall of the towers on the blessed 9/11 day."

The men call themselves "the 9/11 Shura Council." In addition to Mr. Mohammed, those charged include Ramzi Binalshibh, Walid bin Attash, Mustafa al-Hawsawi and Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, also known as Amar al-Baluchi.

The Bush administration filed charges against the men last year before a military commission in Guantanamo Bay. The Bush administration asserted that it would be difficult to successfully prosecute the men in federal court in part because that might force the U.S. government to disclose and defend the prisoners’ treatment in CIA custody.

President Barack Obama suspended those proceedings in January pending a review of the Guantanamo detention and trial apparatus. Obama administration officials say their preference is to try alleged terrorists in federal court. The statement, along with the defendants’ other public remarks claiming responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks, suggests that conviction in federal court may not pose as many hurdles as some officials once feared.

A military attorney appointed to represent one of the defendants questioned whether his client agreed to the statement.

"There is no evidence that Mr. al Hawsawi knew about, read or signed this document ," Maj. Jon Jackson said in an email. "It is a typed message in English with no signature.  I object to this highly irregular document release." Maj. Jackson said he was unaware of the statement until the military judge ordered copies sent to attorneys Monday.

Write to Jess Bravin at

9/11 kin to watch terror trial of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, by lottery

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Miami Herald

9/11 kin to watch terror trial at Guantánamo, by lottery

Five relatives of Sept. 11 victims will be able to attend a hearing for an alleged al Qaeda kingpin in December.

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — With the war court’s future uncertain, the Pentagon has made plans to bring victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — chosen by lottery — to watch a hearing of reputed al Qaeda kingpin Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s death penalty trial.

Five will be chosen. In an Oct. 20 letter, the chief war crimes prosecutor invited relatives of those killed on 9/11 to submit names to watch a military commissions hearing Dec. 8, during the closing days of President Bush’s administration, which has championed the tribunals.

Scheduled that day is a hearing in the case of Mohammed and four other former CIA-held captives accused of conspiring to train, finance and orchestrate the hijackings that killed nearly 3,000 people in the 2001 attacks.

Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, who has for years helped steer Bush administration detainee policy, issued an endorsement of the plan to airlift family members of those killed in the attacks to this remote U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.

”Soon, some of those victim families will have the opportunity to see firsthand the fair, open and just trials of those alleged to have perpetrated these horrific acts,” England said.

A former military prosecutor has testified that England had discussed with Pentagon lawyers the ”strategic political value” of charging some prized Guantánamo detainees before the 2006 congressional elections.

But Pentagon officials attributed the Dec. 8 timing to finally implementing a long-promised victims witness program, which will enable thousands of family members of the Sept. 11 dead to watch the eventual trial through satellite feeds to four U.S. military bases.

No trial date has been set.

Meantime, the United States is proceeding this week with its second ever terror trial. Ali Hamza al Bahlul, about 38, is accused of recruiting jihadists while working as an al Qaeda media secretary and propagandist in Afghanistan. He faces a maximum life in prison.


Like the first man tried, Osama bin Laden’s driver, Salim Hamdan, 40, Bahlul is from Yemen. Hamdan’s military jury sentenced him to spend the rest of the year in prison, a ruling the Pentagon’s prosecutor is appealing.

The prosecutor is starting the victims program by permitting five 9/11 family members to observe proceedings as the five alleged terrorists and their legal counsel argue about what law and evidence might be used at trial.

The Defense Department notified kin of the 9/11 dead through letters and postings on electronic message boards offering a chance to visit this outpost for up to a week, at Pentagon expense. Thousands are eligible to apply. They include the parents, children, spouses or siblings of those killed in New York, at the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania field.

Yet, the future of the war court itself is uncertain.

Both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates have pledged to close the prison camps at Guantánamo.

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain has said through his campaign that he would keep the war court he helped establish through the 2006 Military Commissions Act but might move the trials themselves to U.S. soil.

Illinois Democratic Sen. Barack Obama advocates trying alleged terrorists in traditional U.S. courts, not the special post-9/11 justice system that has been a keystone of the Bush administration’s controversial detention policy.

One person who applied to the Guantánamo visitors program is Queens, N.Y., antiwar activist Adele Welty, whose firefighter son, Tim, was killed at the World Trade Center.

He is listed as victim No. 2653 on the conspiracy charge, which lists the names of 2,973 Sept. 11 dead.

Pentagon prosecutors seek the death penalty for the five alleged co-conspirators. But Welty is concerned that her politics might exclude her from eligibility, especially since, she said, Pentagon prosecutors had her fill out a form that asked her position on capital punishment.

She testified against executing alleged 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui during the penalty phase of his 2006 trial. “I feel that if we’re going to kill people, we’re no different than the terrorists.”


And she took part in a January 2007 protest against Guantánamo detention policies on the Castro side of Cuba, which got her a warning letter from the U.S. government.

But she wants to see a portion of the trial firsthand because she’s heard about the secrecy of the military commission system.

”He still needs to have a fair trial,” Welty said, “not because of who he is, but because of what kind of a country we want to be.”

The chief war crimes prosecutor, Army Col. Lawrence Morris, said someone’s opinion on the death penalty would have no bearing on the lottery. Rather, he said, 9/11 family members were asked to voluntarily fill out ”Victim Impact Questionnaires” as an information-gathering tool.

Khaled Sheikh Mohammed interrogates his judge

[The following story and similar stories about the alleged mastermind of 9/11, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, are extremely funny additions to the numerous fairy-tales developed by CIA and Pentagon officials in attempting, at all costs, to maintain the official legend of Ali Baba and the 19  9/11 hijackers. It is always funny when presumptious people display their incompetence in public – Webmaster]

9/11 Defendant Queries Judge on Beliefs
Accused Mastermind Tries to Prove Bias
By Peter Finn
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 24, 2008; Page A16

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Sept. 23 — Invoking names such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Buchanan, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the admitted organizer of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, probed the private opinions of the military judge who is overseeing his case Tuesday in a series of sometimes testy exchanges during a hearing on the judge’s impartiality.

Mohammed, wearing a black turban, began by asking Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann about his religious beliefs and whether he had any association with the religious organizations of Pat Robertson or the late Jerry Falwell.

"If you are in one of those denominations, you are not going to be fair," said Mohammed, who switched between Arabic and English when he spoke to the judge. The judge said he had not belonged to any congregation for some time but had attended Lutheran and Episcopal churches.

The pretrial hearing provided Mohammed and four other defendants facing murder and war crimes charges for their alleged involvement in the terrorist attacks with the opportunity to discover any bias that would suggest Kohlmann should recuse himself. Three of the five, including Mohammed, are representing themselves.

Kohlmann, who will rule on his own impartiality, noted that he had responded to nearly 600 questions in writing. Tuesday’s proceeding allowed the defendants and their attorneys to ask follow-up questions.

Ramzi Binalshibh, another defendant, interjected, "Your last name is Kohlmann, which is a Jewish name, not a Christian name." Kohlmann told him he was mistaken.

Binalshibh had previously refused to appear in court but showed up voluntarily Tuesday after Mohammed and the other defendants, with the court’s approval, sent notes to his cell asking him to take his seat.

Binalshibh continued to insist that he represents himself and attacked his lawyers for, among other things, raising questions about his mental state. Navy Cmdr. Suzanne Lachelier, Binalshibh’s assigned military defense attorney, noted that Binalshibh was reading a newspaper article and apparently oblivious when the judge was explaining the defendant’s need to be in court and his rights.

"She was busy writing," retorted Binalshibh, who said he simply did not want to look at the judge. He added forcefully: "I am not mentally incompetent."

Apart from Binalshibh’s interruption, Mohammed was the only defendant to question the judge. He focused for some time on a seminar the judge led at his daughter’s high school in 2005. The judge, who revealed the seminar in a previous case held at Guantanamo Bay, held a class on the legal and ethical issues associated with torture or coercive interrogation.

"It appears that you are supportive of torture for the sake of national security. Is that correct?" Mohammed asked.

Kohlmann said he laid out a "ticking-bomb scenario" and then challenged the students to examine their initial responses. But he said he provided no answer to "what would be permissible or ethical or lawful."

Lawyers for the other defendants also probed the judge’s attitude toward torture and its definition, but Kohlmann largely sidestepped the issue.

Mohammed’s sometimes rambling disquisition even touched on the Marine Corps Rifleman’s Creed. "Is that right: Every Marine is a rifleman?" Mohammed asked, wondering aloud how any Marine could judge him and the other defendants when the Corps was fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and "killing our people."

When Kohlmann told Mohammed that some of his questions were irrelevant, the defendant muttered aloud, "You reject to answer."

Kohlmann then warned Mohammed that he will be held to the same standard as any lawyer before the court and that he risked losing his ability to represent himself if he persisted with such asides.

The judge also said Mohammed’s questions seemed to be an attempt "to develop a personality profile." The exchange came after Mohammed asked whether the judge read books by Billy Graham or Pat Buchanan, and what movies he watched.

"I decline to provide you with my reading list or my movie list," Kohlmann said.

9/11 mastermind mounts vigorous defense at Gitmo

9/11 mastermind mounts vigorous defense at Gitmo

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — The proclaimed architect of the Sept. 11 attacks once declared that he wanted to be executed and become a martyr. But Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is mounting a vigorous defense, even asking the military judge to remove himself Wednesday.

Acting as his own attorney, Mohammed’s readiness to raise pretrial challenges on behalf of himself and his four co-defendants ensures the case will not be over quickly. It now has little chance of going to trial before the end of the Bush administration.

Charles "Cully" Stimson, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, said Mohammed aims to use the military tribunal to rally al-Qaida supporters.

"KSM will mess with the system to the extent he can, and he will use the trial as a platform to speak to those who look up to him as a hero," Stimson told The Associated Press in an e-mail.

Mohammed on Wednesday asked Judge Ralph Kohlmann, a Marine colonel, to recuse himself, arguing that Kohlmann sees the defendants as "Islamic extremists."

"I don’t believe you respect Muslims and therefore won’t provide me a just ruling," said Mohammed, who wore a black turban above a long gray beard streaked with white, using halting English.

The judge dismissed Mohammed’s challenges as "completely wrong" and refused to step down.

At Mohammed’s arraignment in June — his first public appearance since he was captured in Pakistan in 2003 — Kohlmann warned him that he faces the death penalty for his confessed role as mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that killed 2,973 people. Mohammed said he would welcome becoming a martyr.

The defendants, who all face the death penalty if convicted, have not yet entered a plea.

But in court, Mohammed and his four co-defendants pressed requests for computer equipment, translated court transcripts and telephone access. All five are held with other "high-value" detainees in a secret location on this U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.

"This is going to be a long, long, long battle before these accused get sentenced," said Army Maj. Jon Jackson, an attorney for defendant Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi. His client allegedly provided the Sept. 11 hijackers with money and Western-style clothing.

On Wednesday, the judge allowed the defendants to take advantage of their reunion in the courtroom and discuss strategy among themselves for half an hour. The judge ordered prosecutors to leave the room and told the military guards that details of their conversation are not to be revealed.

Complaining of botched Arabic translations in the courtroom, the detainees also asked for the proceedings to be suspended until more competent interpreters are appointed. Mohammed filed a handwritten note in support of the motion, saying he has to resort to using "broken English."

Kohlmann did not immediately rule on the defendants’ requests, but lead prosecutor Robert Swann said the government is preparing to issue each defendant a laptop computer loaded with 40,782 pages of documents and more than 50 videos.

Swann said they could not safely be provided with requested printers or other equipment with electrical cords, presumably because of the danger of suicide.

Four prisoners at Guantanamo have killed themselves since the January 2002 opening of the military offshore prison, which currently holds 255 men suspected of links to the Taliban or al-Qaida.

KSM ‘Confessed’ To Targeting Bank Founded After His Arrest

KSM ‘Confessed’ To Targeting Bank Founded After His Arrest
Fallacy of testimony exposed as story blows up in Pentagon’s face

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Friday, March 16, 2007

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s alleged confession testimony has been thoroughly discredited after it emerged that one of the targets he identified, the Plaza Bank, was not founded until 2006, four years after the alleged Al-Qaeda mastermind’s arrest.

In his confession, KSM claims, "I was responsible for planning, training, surveying, and financing for the New (or Second) Wave of attacks against the following skyscrapers after 9/11: …Plaza Bank, Washington state."

KSM was arrested in March 2003. According to the Plaza Bank’s website, the organization was founded in early 2006, making it impossible for KSM to have even known of the bank’s existence before 2003, never mind plotted against it.

Skepticism about the legitimacy of KSM’s confession has gushed forth from all quarters, leaving the credibility of the Pentagon and the process of military tribunals in ruins and provoking additional questions about why the alleged Al-Qaeda mastermind admitted to involvement in such a vast range of plots.

After media commentators across the spectrum, from Time Magazine to Matt Lauer and even Rosie O’Donnell were openly cynical of the accuracy of KSM’s testimony, officials speaking on condition of anonymity admitted that the claims were exaggerated, but still insist KSM’s responsibility for 9/11, "from A to Z" is genuine.

Former CIA field officer Robert Baer also expressed his doubts, questioning "What the Pentagon’s objective really is in releasing the transcript of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s confession."

"On the face of it, KSM, as he is known inside the government, comes across as boasting, at times mentally unstable. It’s also clear he is making things up. I’m told by people involved in the investigation that KSM was present during Wall Street Journal correspondent Danny Pearl’s execution but was in fact not the person who killed him. There exists videotape footage of the execution that minimizes KSM’s role. And if KSM did indeed exaggerate his role in the Pearl murder, it raises the question of just what else he has exaggerated, or outright fabricated," writes Baer.

The facet of the Pearl murder and why the establishment would want to shut the lid on the whole affair by pinning the blame on KSM is interesting in the context that in September 2006, Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf fingered Omar Sheikh as Pearl’s assassin, adding that he was an MI6 agent working for British Intelligence. In the transcript of his alleged confession, KSM cryptically discusses CIA and Mossad involvement in the Pearl execution but the text is heavily redacted.

KSM’s claim that he ran the 1993 World Trade Center bombing is also highly suspect because it also conveniently sweeps under the carpet the fact that it was the FBI who provided the terror cell with the bomb materials through their informant and ordered the bombing to go ahead.

In addition, KSM was a known CIA asset in the eighties and was used as a go between during the CIA-funded Afghan "jihad" against the occupying Soviets.

It is well established that before his mysterious arrest as the alleged mastermind behind the September 11 plot, Mohammed was granted a visa to enter the US just six weeks before the terrorist attacks in Washington and New York.

Other questions that have arisen concerning the testimony revolve around KSM’s Americanized use of the English language, including the term "A to Z," which many see as a form of slang that befits tabloid headlines more than it does the vernacular of radical Muslim extremists.

A CNN online poll shows that a massive 74% disbelieve all of the claims made by KSM and BBC respondents were equally cynical.

Think Progress makes the point that KSM’s comments on torture and any potential reference to the fact that he was tortured himself are redacted in the transcript.

The upshot of all this is that the much vaunted KSM confession, which seems to have been intentionally inflated so the book could be closed on a number of nebulous plots cited by the Bush administration as justification for its policies, has blown up in the establishment’s face and only succeeded in detracting credibility from the government’s official 9/11 story and the mythical war on terror.

Was the confession by KSM authentic?

The Absence of Justice for 9/11 Victims *

20 March 2007

By Christopher Bollyn

After five and a half years of the loathsome "war on terror," with its costly and disastrous wars and tedious preoccupation with "homeland security," the public has grown weary of the media discussion of 9/11.

With the passage of time, the hiding of the evidence and the flood of disinformation, many people have lost interest in the developments and details of the terror attacks that brought all this misery upon us.

On the other hand, thanks to the Internet, a significant percentage of the U.S. population simply does not believe that Osama bin Laden and his nebulous Al Qaida organization committed the terror attacks that killed some 3,000 people on 9/11.

In 1981, William Casey, then director of the CIA, said with confidence,

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s children still detained by US?

Among the cases detailed in the report is the detention in September 2002 of two children, then aged seven and nine, of confessed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was later detained and is now held at Guantanamo.

"According to eyewitnesses, the two were held in an adult detention center for at least four months while U.S. agents questioned the children about their father's whereabouts," the report said.

Groups list 39 'disappeared' in U.S. war on terror

Thu Jun 7, 2007 10:12 AM IST138

By Claudia Parsons

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Six human rights groups urged the U.S. government on Thursday to name and explain the whereabouts of 39 people they said were believed to have been held in U.S. custody and "disappeared."

The groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, said they filed a U.S. federal lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act seeking information about the 39 people it terms "ghost prisoners" in the U.S. "war on terror."

"Since the end of Latin America's dirty wars, the world has rejected the use of 'disappearances' as a fundamental violation of international law," professor Meg Satterthwaite of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University's School of Law said in a statement.

The report said suspects' relatives, including children as young as seven, had been held in secret detention on occasion.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano dismissed the report, saying the CIA acts in "strict accord with American law" and its counter-terrorist initiatives are "subject to careful review and oversight."

"The United States does not conduct or condone torture," he said.

In September, U.S. President George W. Bush acknowledged the CIA had interrogated dozens of suspects at secret overseas locations and said 14 of those held had been sent to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Bush strongly defended the secret detention and questioning of terrorism suspects and said the CIA treated them humanely. The program has drawn international outcry and questions about the cooperation of European governments.

Tens of thousands of people "disappeared" during Latin America's so-called dirty wars in Chile, Argentina and several other countries where right-wing dictators used extra-judicial detentions to crush armed Marxist opposition.

The list of 39 people said to have been held in U.S. custody at some point was compiled using information from six rights groups, including London-based groups Cageprisoners and Reprieve and the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York.

The detentions began shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks and include people said to be captured in locations including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia.


The United States has acknowledged detaining three of the 39. The groups said, however, there was strong evidence, including witness testimony, of secret detention in 18 more cases and some evidence of secret detention in the remaining 18 cases.

Joanne Mariner of Human Rights Watch said it was unknown if the suspects were now in U.S. or foreign custody, or even alive or dead.

"We have families who have not seen their loved ones for years. They've literally disappeared," Mariner told Reuters.

Among the cases detailed in the report is the detention in September 2002 of two children, then aged seven and nine, of confessed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was later detained and is now held at Guantanamo.

"According to eyewitnesses, the two were held in an adult detention center for at least four months while U.S. agents questioned the children about their father's whereabouts," the report said.

The groups said the lack of information about the prisoners "prevents scrutiny by the public or the courts, and leaves detainees vulnerable to abuses that include torture."

Bush said in September there were no prisoners remaining in custody in U.S. secret facilities at that time. But the report said the transfer of Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi from CIA custody to Guantanamo in April showed the system was still operating.

"Interviews with prisoners who have been released from secret CIA prisons indicate that low-level detainees have frequently been arrested far from any battlefield, and held in isolation for years without legal recourse or contact with their families or outside agencies," the report said.

The groups urged the U.S. government to cease use of secret detention, provide information on those in custody, give access by the International Committee of the Red Cross to all detainees and either bring charges or release all prisoners.

(Additional reporting by Carol Giacomo)

The Commission of Inquiry on 9/11 Relies on Third-Hand Evidence

The Commission of Inquiry on 9/11 Relies on Third-Hand Evidence

[excerpted from David Ray Griffin’s “Debunking 9/11 Debunking”, pp. 130-132]

We are looking at ways in which the 9/11 Commission’s conspiracy theory draws on suspect evidence. The first example was the Commission’s use of dubious ? probably planted ? evidence to support its claim that al-Qaeda was responsible for the attacks. I turn now to a type of evidence that is so obviously dubious that [Commissioners] Kean and Hamilton even admit it.

The greatest difficulty they had in getting access to people and information they needed, they report, was “obtaining access to star witnesses in custody…,most notably Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a mastermind of the attacks, and [Ramzi] Binalshibh, who helped coordinate the attacks from Europea.” [WP p. 118]. Kean and Hamilton explain why getting such access was essential:

“These and other detainees were the only possible source for inside information about the plot. If the commission was mandated to provide an authoritative account of the 9/11 attacks, it followed that our mandate afforded us the right to learn what these detainees had to say about 9/11? [WP 118-119]

This was a right, however, that they were not given and that they in the end did not even demand. After CIA director Tenet turned down their initial request for access to the “more than one hundred detainees,” they narrowed their request to “only seven key detainees,” but this request was also denied. They then offered a compromise:

?[The Commission’s] interrogators could be blindfolded on their way to the interrogation point so that they would not know where they were…[They would not] interrogate the detainees themselves [but would instead] observe the interrogation through one-way glass [so that they] could at least observe the detainee’s demeanor and evaluate his credibility. Or our staff could listen to an interrogation telephonically, and offer questions or follow-up questions to the CIA interrogator through an earpiece.” [WP 121-122]

But this compromise was also rejected.

Accordingly, believing strongly that they needed at least this much access because otherwise they “could not evaluate the credibility of the detainees? accounts,” they considered going public with their demand. However, ?[t]he Bush administration pleaded with us not to take the issue public.” And so, evidently assuming that the Bush administration made this plea not because it had anything to hide but only, as it claimed, because it “did not want to risk interrupting the interrogation of these detainees [by the CIA], which was important to US efforts to obtain intelligence to thwart attacks, capture terrorists, and save American lives,” the Commission “decided not to take the issue public.” [WP 120-123]

It instead accepted Tenet’s best offer:

The alleged confession by the alleged planner of 9/11

The alleged confession by the alleged planner of 9/11
by Elias Davidsson, 15 March 2007 (small modification November 2010)
The corporate mass media are again being taken for a ride, and take us for fools. Four years after they announced that Khalid Mohammed Sheikh, an alleged Al Qaeda official, was arrested in Pakistan, they now report that he confessed to have been the “principal planner, trainer, financier, executor, and/or a personal participant” in 31 crimes around the world, including attempts of terrorism in Israel, Panama, the Philippines, East Africa and the events of 9/11.

The BBC has posted on its website a 26-page transcript issued by the Pentagon of a March 10, 2007 session at the Military Tribunal in Guantanamo in which a person presented to the secret Tribunal as Khalid Mohammed Sheikh “confesses” or rather boasts to have been involved in all of these crimes. The Military Tribunal was apparently not interested in finding out whether these confessions bear any relation to the truth. Thus, the detainee was not given an opportunity to explain how he managed to have his men place explosives in the Twin Towers and World Trade Center No. 7, which ensured the demolition of these high-rise steel buildings. He probably will never been asked that question.

However, doubt remains about the identity of the person who has “confessed” to all these crimes. According to Wikipedia, Khaled Mohammed Sheikh “attended Chowan College, a small Baptist school in Murfreesboro, North Carolina, for a few years (beginning in 1983) before transferring to the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and completing a degree in mechanical engineering in 1986”. According to Jason Burke (Al Qaeda, The True Story of Radical Islam, p. 113), by 1989, “Shaikh was in Peshawar, teaching engineering at Sayyaf’s University of Da’wa”. In order to teach engineering in a Pakistani university, one is required to be fluent in English.  Between 1992 and 1996, he is reported to have lived in Qatar and worked there “in a government office as a project engineer for the Qatari Ministry of Electricity and Water.” Also in such a post, he would be working at least partly in English.  Anyone who reads the released transcript will immediately be struck by the puzzling fact that the US-educated engineer could hardly make one correct sentence in English. The real “Khaled Mohammed Sheikh” is also reported to have been a playboy who in the Philippines “had parties with alcohol and spent lavish times with Manila women. He often went to go-go bars and karaoke clubs and held meetings at expensive hotels.” (Wikipedia). Yet the person before the Military Tribunal repeatedly invokes religious principles and Islam as his alleged guiding principles. Who was the man, presented to the Military Tribunal, and who allegedly confessed to have masterminded practically all large international crimes in recent history?

It should be noted that the US authorities have never authenticated the identity of the person they have arrested in 2003 and kept in custody since then under the name “Khaled Mohammed Sheikh”. That detainee has never been presented to outsiders or even to a civilian judge in order to ascertain that person’s identity. Questions remain even about the circumstances of his arrest. In 2004, the U.S. government refused to admit it had KSM in custody. “The insurance companies want the U.S. Justice Department to serve summonses and complaints on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other militants named as defendants in a lawsuit in federal court in New York City. But U.S. authorities said they have never officially acknowledged holding the men…. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined Friday to discuss the case.”

It should be mentioned that the released transcripts from the Military Tribunal are not signed by any person, do not bear any official sign, and do not indicate the names of any court member. This means that no person has actually confirmed, through his signature, that the transcript represents what it purports to represent. Neither CNN nor the BBC mention these legally crucial facts.

Finally, it might be good to remember that even if someone confesses to have planned a crime, such confession does not constitute a proof as to the identities of those who actually committed the crime, nor as to the method in which the crime was committed. Anybody can boast of having been planned or financed 9/11 or of any other crime. But such claims cannot be taken at face value. As long as the US authorities do not produce compelling evidence that the 19 individuals accused by the FBI for having hijacked the aircraft on 9/11 and piloted these aircraft onto the known landmarks, had actually boarded these aircraft and had the skills to pilot the aircraft and overwhelm both crew and passengers, great caution must be exercised in taking at face value confessions such as that by the alleged Khaled Mohammed Sheikh. The very likelihood that the Twin Towers and WTC-7 were demolished by explosives puts into question the whole official account, including the alleged confession of the alleged Khaled Mohammed Sheikh. Media workers have still much work to do before reestablishing some of their lost credibility.

Pakistan Accused of Staging Bin Laden Aide Arrest

Published on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 by Reuters
Pakistan Accused of Staging Bin Laden Aide Arrest

by Simon Denyer
ISLAMABAD – A grainy video purporting to show the arrest of two al Qaeda leaders has done little to deflect accusations that Pakistan may have staged this month’s raid to give it leeway to abstain in a U.N. vote on an Iraq war. On Monday, the powerful military Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) held an unprecedented news conference to show foreign journalists what it said were images of a March 1 raid in Rawalpindi that netted al Qaeda kingpin Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

But few of journalists present were convinced the video — which did not show Mohammed’s face nor any sign of a struggle — was genuine. Many said it looked like a crude reconstruction.

On Tuesday, a former ISI chief said he believed Mohammed was actually arrested some time ago in a different city.

“They are trying to cover up,” Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul told Reuters. “I believe he was arrested before, probably in Karachi.”

One intelligence source said Mohammed had been arrested three days before, from the Tench Batta suburb of Rawalpindi.

Rumors of Mohammed’s arrest had circulated in Pakistan for months, but were consistently denied.

Gul said news of the arrest appeared to have been leaked at a critical time, just as Pakistan was facing huge U.S. pressure to support a U.N. Security Council vote authorizing war on Iraq.

On Monday night, a senior ruling party official told Reuters the government, under massive domestic pressure to oppose war on a fellow Muslim state, had decided to abstain in the vote, news that shocked British and American diplomats in Islamabad.

The ISI earlier said it had called its first news conference in Pakistan’s history to counter criticism in the Western media that it had not done enough in the war on terror.

Gul said the raid may have been staged — and news of the arrest leaked — for the same reason, against the backdrop of the U.N. vote.

Gul, who ran the ISI from 1987 to 1989, said the raid was conducted in far too casual a fashion to have been real, with police failing to properly surround or secure the house in a middle-class Rawalpindi suburb.


Relatives of Ahmed Quddus, the son of the house owner, have maintained he was the only man in the house at the time of the raid. Neighbors said they heard no sound of gunfire — contradicting the official account, which maintains that Mohammed shot one intelligence agent in the foot with an AK-47 rifle.

Within hours, news of the raid and arrest was leaked to foreign news agencies, something Gul also found incredible.

“He has to be questioned, before you present him to the public eye,” he said. “You don’t present news like that.”

In the video, an ISI officer is seen briefing half a dozen agents about the impending raid — in English, as opposed to Pakistan’s Urdu mother tongue.

Officials explained this was a reconstruction of the original Urdu briefing, but said the rest of the video was genuine.

But many journalists were unconvinced as a calm cameraman shone his lights on the raiding party, and followed agents as they casually broke into the compound and the house, and walked up the stairs.

There was no sign of a struggle — or of any urgency. The cameramen then focused on the back and neck of the man officials said was Mohammed, before the man was swiftly hooded.

The video has not been released to the media for broadcast.

Mohammed is identified by the United States as the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. The ISI says the financier of the attacks, Saudi national Ahmed al-Hawsawi, was also arrested in the same raid.

But one Pakistani source said al-Hawsawi had been picked up at least one month before the announcement of his arrest, and that intelligence agents had voiced delight at the time.

On Tuesday, Quddus was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days, and lawyers said his trial could start this month on charges of possessing weapons, resisting arrest and terrorism.

The intelligence source said Quddus’ family was suspected of having sent Mohammed food, and Mohammed was said to have visited the house four or five times.

Quddus is the son of an official in the Jamaat-e-Islami party, a key member of a religious alliance that opposes the military-backed government and has organized big street protests against war on Iraq.

Authorities say at least two other al Qaeda suspects have been arrested in houses linked to Jamaat-e-Islami members, but Gul said the party could be the victim of an official campaign to blacken their name.

“Jamaat has never had any contacts with the Arabs (al Qaeda),” said Gul. “They are at loggerheads with U.S. policy…and at this stage it would be an advantage to have them labeled as terrorists.”



Top 9/11 suspect ‘was granted US visa’

Top 9/11 suspect ‘was granted US visa’

Financial Times, 26 January 2004

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alleged mastermind behind the September 11 plot, was granted a visa to enter the US just six weeks before the terrorist attacks in Washington and New York, according to new revelations from the federal commission studying the attacks.

Mr Mohammed (pictured), who had previously been indicted in the US for his alleged role in an earlier terrorist plot, was granted a visa through a US consulate in Saudi Arabia after applying under a false Saudi passport using the alias Abdulrahman al Ghamdi, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States said on Monday.

Mr Mohammed, who was captured in Pakistan last April, did not appear to have used the visa to enter the US, the commission said.

The revelations will raise new questions about lapses in US border controls that may have contributed to the September 11 attacks. While the US has taken numerous steps to tighten its scrutiny of travellers, the administration is still facing criticism from Democrats that border security remains too lax.

In its most pointed conclusions to date, the commission, headed by Thomas Kean, a former New Jersey governor, said its investigation had revealed that many of the hijackers had violated US immigration laws, lied on visa applications and showed other suspicious behaviours that could have been detected.

Three of the 19 hijackers, for instance, made false statements in their visa applications that could have been detected, according to the commission, which is preparing to submit a final report to President George W. Bush and Congress in late May.

Two of four hijackers’ passports recovered from the crashes had been doctored in a way that hinted at their association with al-Qaeda. Two others had "suspicious indicators" on their passports.

"These circumstances offered opportunities to intelligence and law enforcement officials," said the commission, "but our government did not fully exploit al-Qaeda’s travel vulnerabilities."

The conclusions may re-open the question of whether intelligence and law enforcement officials could have done more to stop the plot, in spite of previous claims that most of the hijackers had no record of association with terrorists and thus were unlikely to be identified.

"The director of Central Intelligence described 17 of the 19 hijackers as ‘clean’. We believe the information we have provided today gives the commission the opportunity to re-evaluate those statements," the commission’s staff said.

At a hearing on Capitol Hill on Monday, the commission also heard testimony from Jos

Khalid Shaikh Muhammad

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


[156] 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.

[157]National Commission on Terrorist  Attacks upon the United States, 9-11 Commission Report, Norton, W. W.  & Company, Inc., 2004, p. 145.

[158]”Profile: Al Qaeda “Kingpin,”? BBC  News Online, March 5, 2003 [online],

 [159]The above information, including the  background on Muhammad, comes largely from the Staff Statements of the 9/11  Commission.

[160] 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

[161]Mark Bowden, “The Dark Art of  Interrogation,” The Atlantic Monthly, October 2003.

[162] James  Risen, David Johnston, and Neil A. Lewis, “Harsh C.I.A. Methods Cited In Top  Qaeda Interrogations,” New York Times, May 13, 2004.

[163] 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],

 [164] Elaine Shannon and Michael Weisskopf, “Khalid Sheikh  Mohammed Names Names,”, March 24, 2003 [online],,8599,436061,00.html.

 [165] 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.

 [166]  “Terror Suspect Hambali Quizzed,” BBC News Online, August 15, 2003  [online],

 [167]David Johnston and Don Van Natta,  Jr., “Account of Plot Sets off Debate over Credibility,” New York  Times, June 17, 2004.

[168]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). 

Al-Qaeda suspect ‘under interrogation’

Al-Qaeda suspect ‘under interrogation’
BBC News, Sunday, 2 March, 2003, 15:50 GMT

A $25m reward was offered for Sheikh Mohammed’s capture

The interrogation of the suspected planner of the 11 September 2001 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, is said to have begun.

 The 37-year-old Kuwaiti was arrested with two other people in a joint Pakistani-CIA operation near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Saturday.

 His current whereabouts remain unknown, but correspondents say US authorities will want to hold him in a remote and secure location such as their base in Bagram in Afghanistan or on a warship offshore.

 Washington has described him as one of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden’s "most senior and significant lieutenants".

 His capture prompted joy in the US Government.

 "That’s fantastic!" was President George W Bush’s reported reaction to the news.

 Pressure off

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had long been on the FBI’s most wanted list, and the US had recently increased the reward for his capture to $25m.

The whereabouts of Bin Laden remain unknown

On Sunday his picture on the website showed a red strip over the front marking that he had been located

 BBC correspondent Nick Childs says that Bush administration has been under pressure at home from critics who complain it has neglected the hunt for al-Qaeda as it focussed on Iraq, and the arrests will take some of that heat off.

 He has been indicted in America for plotting to blow up American commercial airliners in the Philippines in the mid-1990s.

 Rashid Qureshi, a spokesman for Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf described the Kuwaiti as "the kingpin of al-Qaeda".

 Hunt for al-Qaeda

US intelligence agents have been hunting remnants of Afghanistan’s former Taleban regime and Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network since the US-led military action in Afghanistan in late 2001.

 Hundreds al-Qaeda militants and former Taleban ministers are thought to have fled into Pakistan since US-led forces launched the strikes following the 11 September attacks.

 Dozens have subsequently been arrested, including senior al-Qaeda leader Ramzi Binalshibh, a Yemeni national.

Pakistan has been hunting al-Qaeda and Taleban remnants
 He is alleged to have been one of the main planners of the attacks in Washington and New York. He is also in US custody.

 Another top al-Qaeda suspect, Abu Zabaydah, thought to have been Bin Laden’s field commander, was captured in March 2002.

 He was subsequently handed over to the US and is said to have been co-operating with investigators.

 He is also thought to have been the source behind many of America’s terror warnings since the 11 September attacks.

 Bin Laden whereabouts

Right-wingers in the Pakistani Government have strongly opposed any US intervention in raids or searches for al-Qaeda suspects.

 BBC Islamabad correspondent Paul Anderson says that Sheikh Mohammed’s capture strikes at the heart of the al-Qaeda network.

 And, he says, it is bound to raise speculation as to the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden, whom some experts believe may be hiding in the Afghan-Pakistan border area. 


Al Qaeda men in ‘ghost prison’

Al Qaeda men in ‘ghost prison’

October 18, 2004 16:38 IST

 The CIA is holding at least 11 top Al Qaeda suspects, including Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and Hambali, in a secret jail in Jordan to avoid falling under American laws which bar certain interrogation methods, says the Israeli daily Haaretz.

 "Their detention outside the U.S. enables CIA interrogators to apply interrogation methods that are banned by US law, and to do so in a country where cooperation with the Americans is particularly close, thereby reducing the danger of leaks," the article said, citing unnamed intelligence sources.

 Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is one of the masterminds behind the 9/11 attacks in the US,  while Hambali, or Riduan Isamuddin, is said to be al Qaeda’s ally in southeast Asia. Abu Zubaydah was a member of Osama bin laden’s inner circle.

 The curious case of Khalid Sheikh

The article, written by Yossi Melman, did not specify an exact location for the ‘ghost prison,’  but said at least 11 senior al-Qa’eda and other militant leaders were being held in Jordan.

 Haaretz also quoted a Human Rights Watch report as saying that the CIA was granted special permission by the US law enforcement authorities to operate "other laws" at the secret facility with regard to interrogation methods.

 ‘Detainees are subjected to physical and psychological pressure that includes the use of simulated drowning, loud music, sleep deprivation, and sensory deprivation. Some of these methods were exposed with the revelation of torture techniques used by American interrogators at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq,’ it said.

 ‘The HRW report charges that the US thereby is in breach of all international conventions, including the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war, by refusing prisoners access to the Red Cross or their families,’ Haaretz said.

 Mordechai Kedar, of Bar Ilan University, a Middle East expert and former Israeli military intelligence officer, said the story was highly credible.

 "Yossi Melman is well oven into intelligence circles and has good access to intelligence information and he bases his reports on hard-core information," he said. "This sounds reasonable, logical, and there is an historical basis too because of the long-standing hatred between the Hashemite kingdom and Wahhabis [hardline Muslims], who are seen as running al-Qa’eda," he said.

 The CIA has declined comment. But a Jordanian official, who declined to be named, said: "The allegations that surface every now and then that the US runs secret detention centres in the kingdom are totally baseless and seek to undermine the country’s favourable human rights image abroad."

Was Khalid arrested where the FBI said he was?

Was Khalid arrested where the FBI said he was?


Inside the villa in Rawalpindi where police say they arrested Khalid, an old woman sobbed gently, shoulders shaking, as she gathered a black shawl around her head and across her mouth and nose so that only her eyes were visible.

Mrs Mahlaqa Khanum is the mother of Ahmed Qadoos, the 42-year-old Pakistani accused of sheltering the mastermind of the September 11 attacks. Qadoos was arrested in the raid on the house that police say netted Khalid and another top Al-Qaeda suspect.

The family is no stranger to controversy. Qadoos is a cousin of Dr Hasnat Khan, the Pakistani heart surgeon with whom Diana, Princess of Wales, was said to be in love. But Khanum said any idea that her son was sheltering terrorists who are on the FBI?s most wanted list was “impossible”.

Pointing at a large cage of blue and green budgerigars on the terrace, she said: “These are his life. Ahmed is a very simple person. He had no job, he hardly went out, just to the mosque to pray. He never travelled and his main thing was pets. He loved pets. We wouldn’t let him have a dog because we’re an Islamic family, but he loved his budgies.”

Qadoos would watch the army dog-training centre behind the house for hours. His mother produced a medical report describing him as a “low IQ person” and a letter about his condition from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for which her husband, Dr Abdul Qadoos, a microbiologist, worked for 30 years in several countries.

A heart bypass operation forced the doctor to retire in 1985 while he was in Zambia. Now he is managing director of Hearts International, a cardiac hospital in Rawalpindi, although his own heart condition has made him frail.

The description of Qadoos as a simpleton is supported by the familx’s neighbour, Colonel Shahida of the Pakistani army.

“Ahmed can’t be a terrorist,” he laughed. “He’s a goof, simple in the head. Once he shot himself in the hand because he was cleaning a gun with the barrel against his palm. They are a purdah-observing household. We never saw anyone strange enter the house.”

Kkanum and her husband were at a wedding in Lahore when their house was raided. Ahmed Qadoos, his wife and their two children Aisha, 12, and Bilal, 8, were sleeping in a downstairs room when they were woken by a loud bang. The door was forced open and about 25 police officers rushed in.

Qadoos’s wife said she and the children were pushed into a spare room and told to remain silent, guarded by an armed policeman, while for more than an hour officers ransacked the house.

“We were petrified,” she said.

When they left she called her cousin, Dr Surbuland, who lives in the next street. “It was about 4.15am. She was very confused and at first we thought Ahmed had been kidnapped because they had taken some dollars,” he said. “Everything had been turned upside down.”

The family have been given no information since then and were horrified to read in newspapers that Qadoos had been charged with sheltering a terrorist. “I?m so worried for him,” said his mother. “He was taken in his vest with no shoes, nothing ” and he had flu.”

American and Pakistani intelligence officials say items including a laptop computer, a satellite phone, letters, cassettes of Osama Bin Laden and documents were seized during the raid.

“That’s ridiculous,” said Qadoos’s mother. “They took my diaries and address book, a box of family photographs, tapes of the Koran that I like listening to and a computer we bought last month for the children.”

Qadoos’s daughter Aisha said: “It was our computer. We didn’t even have the internet. It just had some games ? Aladdin and The Lion King.”

It certainly seems an unlikely hideout for a terrorist on the FBI?s most wanted list ? although, of course, that could make it ideal. Not only is the suburb of Westridge mostly inhabited by army families, but it is less than a mile from the headquarters of Pakistan’s army, which has ruled the country for more than half the time since it became independent. The peaceful streets could not be more different from the teeming bustle of Rawalpindi.

Ahmed Qadoos’s mother is an activist for the ladies? wing of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Pakistan’s biggest religious party ? an allegiance noted by Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the information minister, who announced the arrests.

“There is definitely a pattern here,” Rashid said. “This is the third time Al-Qaeda big fish are being picked up from the house of a Jamaat-e-Islami supporter.”

He pointed out that both Ramzi Binalshibh, the suspected 20th hijacker arrested in Karachi last September, and Abu Zubaydah, arrested last March, were discovered in houses belonging to JI members.

Qazi Hussein Ahmed, leader of the party, which is part of the opposition and is engaged in a campaign for General Pervez Musharraf either to step down as army chief or to renounce the presidency, is furious at the allegation.

“We’re an open organisation,” he said.

“We will give shelter to womenfolk and orphans, but not to anyone violent or to wanted persons.”

Intelligence officers say another pattern that seems to be emerging is the use of doctors? houses as hideouts. In a war in which 1.5m people were killed and at least as many lost limbs, hundreds of thousands of mujaheddin fighting in Afghanistan were treated by Pakistani doctors and relationships may have developed.

While there is no doubting the huge importance of the capture of Khalid, last week’s raid does leave many unanswered questions.Would he really be travelling with phones, laptop computers, documents and lists of names in an organisation that for the past two years has relied on foot messengers, knowing that phone calls can be intercepted and used to trace their position? The Qadoos family point to the photo of Khalid released by Pakistani authorities, purportedly showing him under arrest in the house, looking fat and dazed in a baggy vest as he stands against a wall of peeling paint. A thorough search of the house shows there is no such wall.

“The family is lying,” insisted the information minister. However, he admitted that it was “perhaps unlikely” that Ahmed Qadoos was mixed up with Al-Qaeda, suggesting the real link was to another family member.


The ‘Arrest’ Of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) Alleged 911 ‘Mastermind’

The ‘Arrest’ Of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) Alleged 911 ‘Mastermind’

"U.S. officials and insurance companies representing victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks are locked in an unusual legal standoff, stemming from the government’s refusal to admit it has the alleged mastermind of the attacks in custody. The insurance companies want the U.S. Justice Department to serve summonses and complaints on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other militants named as defendants in a lawsuit in federal court in New York City. But U.S. authorities said they have never officially acknowledged holding the men…. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined Friday to discuss the case."

U.S. government blocks lawsuits by Sept. 11 victims
Globe and Mail, 23 April 2004