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Thread: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Confesses To 9/11 Through A "Personal Representative"

  1. #31
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    Jan 2005
    9/11 mastermind says he killed Daniel Pearl
    Khalid Shaikh Mohammed claims he cut off the head of the kidnapped American journalist.

    By Peter Spiegel, Times Staff Writer
    March 16, 2007

    WASHINGTON — Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the confessed planner of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, admitted during a military tribunal last weekend that he killed Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, according to a revised transcript of the hearing that confirmed long-held suspicions about his role in the slaying.

    The Al Qaeda operative said he cut off Pearl's head after the journalist was kidnapped on a reporting trip to Pakistan in 2002.

    "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan," Mohammed said in a statement delivered by a U.S. military officer serving as his representative. "For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head."

    The admission was blocked out of a hearing transcript released Wednesday by the Pentagon, giving the impression that Mohammed was implicating others in the slaying. But Defense Department officials released a mostly uncensored version Thursday after notifying Pearl's family that the statement would be included.

    "It was a very graphic description," said Bryan Whitman, the senior Pentagon spokesman who made the decision to withhold the information for a day. "We just felt it was important to get to the family to let them know it was going to be in there."

    Pearl, who was the Wall Street Journal's South Asia bureau chief, was abducted in Karachi in January 2002 while reporting on a story about would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid.

    Pakistani authorities quickly arrested Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh, a Pakistani with links to militant groups, and later convicted him of masterminding the abduction. He was sentenced to death. The case is being appealed.

    Mohammed has long been suspected of playing a role in the killing. Shortly after Mohammed was captured in Pakistan in March 2003, U.S. officials told Pearl's wife, Mariane, and Journal reporters that they suspected Mohammed was the killer.

    Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf wrote in his memoirs last year that although Sheikh lured Pearl to Karachi, where he was kidnapped by Sheikh's accomplices, the killing was conducted by an "Arab-looking" man, who turned out to be Mohammed.

    "When we later arrested and interrogated him, he admitted his participation," Musharraf wrote of Mohammed.

    Although Mohammed's confession came in a military tribunal that was closed to outside observers, and he was barred from being represented by a lawyer, he told the panel he was making his statements freely and without coercion.

    In his statement, Mohammed said pictures of Pearl's killing were proof of his involvement. But Rita Katz, a terrorism expert at the SITE Institute, which tracks extremist websites, said none of the videos or photos distributed on the Internet showed the faces of the men who participated in Pearl's decapitation.

    In a statement Thursday, Pearl's parents said they did not know if they believed Mohammed's admission.

    "It is impossible to know at this point whether Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's boast about killing our son has any bearing in truth," they said. "We prefer to focus our energy on continuing Danny's lifework through the programs of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, which aims to eradicate the hatred that took his life."

    During his military hearing, Mohammed delivered a long speech in partially broken English in which he said he thought Pearl was working for Israeli intelligence and was trying to determine if Reid had traveled to Israel to scout for potential targets.

    "His mission was in Pakistan to track about Richard Reid trip to Israel," Mohammed said. "His mission in Pakistan [was] from Israeli intelligence, Mossad, to make interview to ask about when he was there."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #32
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    Jan 2005
    Two former CIA officials: Pearl was on the trail of a 9-11 mastermind

    By Richard Sale and Anwar Iqbal

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 (UPI) Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was investigating the man who allegedly planned the Sept. 11 airplane hijackings and attacks on New York and Washington when he was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan, according to two former Central Intelligence Agency officials.

    Bob Baer, a former case officer in the agency's Directorate of Operations, said he provided Pearl with unpublished information about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who has since been accused by American officials of being one of the masterminds of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a top aide to Osama bin Laden. Mohammed is currently the operational chief of al Qaida, other U.S. intelligence officials said.

    Next to bin Laden, Mohammed is one of the most wanted terrorists in the world.

    "I was working with Pearl," said Baer, who has written a book about his time as a CIA official and has acted as a consultant and source for numerous media outlets. "We had a joint project. Mohammed was the story he was working on, not Richard Reid."

    But a spokesman for The Wall Street Journal disagreed with Baer's account. "Everything we know from before and after Danny's murder indicates his reporting effort was focused on Richard Reid. Also, we don't believe he was engaged in a 'joint project' with anyone outside The Journal."

    Shortly after Pearl's kidnapping and subsequent murder in Karachi, Pakistan last winter, it was reported he was tracing the background of Reid, who was seized on a Boston-bound American Airlines jet from Paris allegedly trying to ignite explosive in his shoes. According to that account, Reid had gone to Karachi to contact a man called Sheik Mubarek Gilani to get information on Reid.

    Baer said that instead Pearl was onto bigger and more dangerous game. "I urged him to go to Pakistan to look into Shaikh Mohammed."

    Another former 30-year veteran of CIA confirmed Baer's account. He asked that his name not be used, but he endorsed Baer: "I'm surprised Baer is on the record, but he really knows his stuff on this."

    Baer said that he believes it was Mohammed who had Pearl killed.

    "I have heard from (intelligence) people who follow this closely that it was people close to Mohammad that killed him, if it wasn't Mohammed himself," he said.

    Shortly after Pearl was kidnapped, Pakistani officials too said they doubted the story that the young reporter was looking into Richard Reid. A spokesman for Pakistan's military government, Maj. Gen. Rashid Qureshi, told United Press International that Pakistani officials could not understand why Pearl was visiting Karachi to meet a religious leader who lived in Lahore.

    Gilani, the person Pearl was reportedly trying to meet, heads Jamaat-ul-Fuqra or the Party of the Poor, and has thousands of followers around the world, including the United States.

    Gilani and his followers are long believed to have been involved in terrorist acts and appear on the State Department's list of terrorist groups.

    Gilani, however, lives in Lahore, which is closer to the Pakistani capital Islamabad where Pearl was before he flew to the southern port city of Karachi -- hundreds of miles south of Lahore.

    Pakistani intelligence sources told UPI that Mohammed, the man Pearl was actually trying to track down, also had links to Gilani and his party.

    On July 15, an anti-terrorism court in the southern Pakistani city of Hyderabad convicted four men for kidnapping and murdering Pearl. The suspected ringleader, British-born Pakistani Ahmad Omar Saeed Shaikh, better known as Shaikh Omar, was sentenced to death while three others were sent to jail for life.

    Throughout the trial, Omar maintained that -- although he knew how and by who Pearl had been killed -- he was not himself responsible.

    Subsequently, there were reports that four other men had also been arrested by Pakistani police in connection with the murder. But Pakistani security officials told UPI that in order for the new suspects to be put on trial, the four convicted men would also have to be tried again, because evidence against the new suspects undermined the case against Omar and his accomplices.

    Mohammed was seen in Islamabad's posh F-7 sector when Pakistani and U.S. officials arrested Ramzi Yusuf, the man who tried to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993.

    The director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, Josef Bodansky, told UPI emphatically, "Mohammed was Pearl's killer."

    "An Algerian actually did the job, but Mohammed gave the order for the killing. There's no question about it," he said. Bodansky said Mohammed also has ties to Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence agency, which he said had acted to shield him in the past.

    "Mohammed was running operations right in Karachi," said Bodansky. Bodansky would not reveal his sources of information.

    According to Baer, he was first informed of Mohammed's role as a key aide to terrorist mastermind bin Laden as early as December 1997 when he met a former police chief from Doha, Qatar, at a dinner in Damascus.

    In 1997, Baer had left the agency to become a consultant in Beirut. Terrorism was Baer's field and Baer began to meet the ex-Doha police chief from time to time. The ex-Doha police chief, who Baer declined to identify by name, told Baer that during the course of his work he found that there was a bin Laden cell in Qatar, being sheltered by the Qatari government.

    The two main members of the cell were Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Shawqui Islambuli, the brother of the Egyptian who had killed Anwar Sadat. They also were linked to terrorist Ramzi Yousef, but what worried the former police chief was the fact that Mohammed and Islambuli were experts in hijacking commercial planes. The ex-police chief told Baer that Mohammed "is going to hijack some planes." The ex-police chief said his basis for this was evidence developed by police and Qatari intelligence.

    The ex-police chief told Baer that Mohammed was being shielded by the Qatar government and told how, in 1996, the FBI sent in a team to arrest Mohammed and Islambuli. While pretending to help, elements in the Qatari government stalled U.S. agents and supplied the two suspects, Mohammed and Islambuli with passports in fake names and spirited them out of the country.

    Mohammed went to the Czech Republic where he began to live under the alias "Mustaf Nasir."

    Mohammed also traveled to Germany to meet bin Laden associates, Baer said.

    Baer sent this information to a friend in the CIA Counter-terrorist Center who forwarded the information to his superiors. Baer heard nothing. "There was no interest," he said.

    Baer said he was frustrated and called Pearl. Baer said he told Pearl he had a hot story on terrorism and the fact that a U.S. ally like Qatar was actually working against the United States when it came to bin Laden.

    Baer said to his annoyance, Pearl did not begin to work on the story. Nothing was done until the day of the Sept. 11 attacks when Pearl called to talk to Baer. Baer said he gave Pearl all the old information he had and new information he had since obtained -- for example, that there are files on Mohammed in the Qatari Embassy in London.

    Baer said he and Pearl then "began to work together" -- in other words, Pearl would get info and check it out with Baer and Baer would feed Pearl what he was getting. It was "a joint project," said Baer. Baer was giving direction, but Pearl's contacts were not confined to Baer.

    After Pearl's murder, Baer said, he took his information about Mohammed to the Justice Department, but again, as with the agency, he never received a call nor did the department express any interest.

    The case is currently being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey, Justice Department officials said.

    Asked to comment on Baer's information, Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles McKenna, told UPI, "I will pass this on to my agents, but this is nothing that I've heard of."

    A joint congressional probe into Sept.11-related intelligence failures made a veiled reference to "a key al Qaida leader" whose "growing importance to al Qaida" the U.S. intelligence community had failed to recognize. U.S. intelligence, said the committee also did not "anticipate his involvement in the terrorist attack of Sept. 11." The leader in question is widely believed to be Mohammed.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  3. #33
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    Jan 2005
    Why KSM's Confession Rings False,00.html

    Thursday, Mar. 15, 2007

    It's hard to tell what the Pentagon's objective really is in releasing the transcript of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's confession. It certainly suggests the Administration is trying to blame KSM for al-Qaeda terrorism, leading us to believe we've caught the master terrorist and that al-Qaeda, and especially the ever-elusive bin Laden, is no longer a threat to the U.S.

    But there is a major flaw in that marketing strategy. 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.

    Just as importantly, there is an absence of collateral evidence that would support KSM's story. KSM claims he was "responsible for the 9/11 operation from A-Z." Yet he has omitted details that would support his role. For instance, one of the more intriguing mysteries is who recruited and vetted the fifteen Saudi hijackers, the so-called "muscle." The well-founded suspicion is that Qaeda was running a cell inside the Kingdom that spotted these young men and forwarded them to al-Qaeda. KSM and al-Qaeda often appear bumbling, but they would never have accepted recruits they couldn't count on. KSM does not offer us an answer as to how this worked.

    KSM has also not offered evidence of state support to al-Qaeda, though there is good evidence there was, even at a low level. KSM himself was harbored by a member of Qatar's royal family after he was indicted in the U.S. for the Bojinka plot — a plan to bomb twelve American airplanes over the Pacific. KSM and al-Qaeda also received aid from supporters in Pakistan, quite possibly from sympathizers in the Pakistani intelligence service. KSM provides no details that would suggest we are getting the full story from him.

    Although he claims to have been al-Qaeda's foreign operations chief, he has offered no information about European networks. Today, dozens of investigations are going on in Great Britain surrounding the London tube bombings on July 7, 2005. Yet KSM apparently knew nothing about these networks or has not told his interrogators about them.

    The fact is al-Qaeda is too smart to put all of its eggs in one basket. It has not and does not have a field commander, the role KSM has arrogated. It works on the basis of "weak links," mounting terrorist operations by bringing in people on an ad hoc basis, and immediately disbanding the group afterwards.

    Until we hear more, the mystery of who KSM is and what he was responsible for is still a mystery.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  4. #34
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    Jan 2005
    Red Cross says detainees reported abuse

    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON - Terror detainees once held in the CIA's secret prisons were kept and questioned under highly abusive conditions, the International Committee of the Red Cross says in a confidential report based on interviews with high-value terror suspects.

    The Red Cross said the techniques reported by the 14 prisoners, including sleep deprivation and the use of forced standing and other so-called "stress positions," were particularly harsh when used together. The prisoners were transferred from CIA custody to a military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in September.

    The CIA's detention methods were designed to soften detainees and make them more likely to talk during interrogation. Human rights organizations say the CIA's extreme conditions of detention and the coercive questioning techniques constitute torture.

    The report is the first independent accounting of the detainees' allegations against the CIA since its detention and interrogation program began in 2002.

    U.S. officials familiar with the report, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because the highly sensitive document has not been released, said it is based entirely on accounts from interviews with detainees and has not been verified. One official cautioned that the claims were made by terror suspects who could be charged in the deaths of innocent civilians.

    Red Cross spokesman Simon Schorno said that the committee's visits with the 14 detainees served two purposes: to assess their current conditions in detention and to give them an opportunity to talk about past detentions.

    "We do not comment on our findings publicly. The report is a confidential document," Schorno said Monday.

    CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield declined to comment on any ICRC reports, citing the organization's practice of keeping its findings confidential.

    Speaking generally of CIA interrogation program, Mansfield said the United States does not practice or condone torture. "CIA's terrorist interrogation program has been conducted lawfully, with great care and close review, producing vital information that has helped disrupt plots and save lives," he added.

    House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said he has gotten a general briefing on the ICRC report but has not read it. "There are allegations that are made by these 14, and they are vehemently denied by General Hayden and the intelligence folks," he said, referring to CIA Director Michael Hayden.

    Not long after the March 2002 capture of top al-Qaida operative Abu Zubaydah, the CIA began formalizing its detention and interrogation program. The CIA decided it would need to hold high-value terrorists such as Zubaydah for extended periods in an effort to extract information.

    They began using some "enhanced interrogation techniques" - or "EITs" in CIA-speak - with success.

    Those widely reported practices include openhanded slapping, induced hypothermia, sleep deprivation and - perhaps most controversially - waterboarding. In that technique, a detainee is made to believe he is drowning.

    Buttressed by at least one classified legal opinion from the Justice Department, the CIA believed it was operating lawfully in detaining and interrogating roughly 100 suspected terrorists at locations from Southeast Asia to Europe.

    "The (interrogation) procedures were tough, and they were safe, and lawful, and necessary," President Bush said in September when he announced that all the CIA's remaining detainees had been moved to military custody at Guantanamo Bay.

    Asked last month if the prisons were still empty, a CIA official declined to comment.

    During a military hearing to review his detention status this month, the CIA's most prized capture - alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - confessed involvement in 31 plots since the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He also said he was tortured.

    Two senators present for Mohammed's March 10 hearing - Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. - confirmed the tribunal was presented with a written statement from Mohammed alleging mistreatment before his arrival at Guantanamo, which was made part of the classified record. The senators said the military panel will submit the allegations to the appropriate authorities.

    "Allegations of prisoner mistreatment must be taken seriously and properly investigated," Levin and Graham said in their statement. "To do otherwise would reflect poorly on our nation."

    A U.S. official said the allegations raised by Mohammed were forwarded to the CIA's inspector general, which has been monitoring the agency's interrogation program for years.

    In an interview Tuesday, Levin said he'll also be investigating Mohammed's claims of abuse, starting with his classified statement. Asked if the review by the CIA's top watchdog would be enough, Levin said he wasn't sure it would be sufficient. "They have a responsibility to look at it. That doesn't mean that no one else does," he said.

    Levin said he has given a summary of the ICRC report, but he declined to comment on its contents.

    Many of the techniques that detainees reported to the ICRC are consistent with published reports about the CIA's interrogation program and its enhanced interrogation techniques.

    Yet U.S. counterterrorism officials have long cautioned that al-Qaida members are likely to lie about conditions during captivity and they cite a jihadist training manual obtained by British authorities during a raid on an al-Qaida member's home. The Justice Department made portions of the document public in December 2001, including a lesson on prisons and detention centers that encourages claims of mistreatment.

    The ICRC has a policy of not releasing reports on its visits with prisoners. The Geneva-based organization believes that allows its officials to get repeated and unrestricted access to prisoners. When necessary, the organization urges the detaining authorities to make improvements.

    "The price of this is a policy of confidentiality, taking up the problems only with the people directly concerned," according to a policy statement on its Web site. The ICRC says it will only break its silence in extreme cases, such as when the condition of prisoners hasn't improved.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  5. #35
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    Jan 2005
    Guantanamo inmate claims beheading of Daniel Pearl

    I said a lot more to Andrew Buncombe who I met at a court proceeding in the Sibel Edmonds case in DC several years ago. In the end as is usually the case, it was only the above short statement he included in his piece. Buncombe was one of the only members of the corporate press reporting on what the government was doing with, and to, Sibel Edmonds. - Kyle Hence

    By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
    Published:^16 March 2007

    Among more than 30 attacks and plots allegedly confessed to by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - the man long accused of organising the September 11 hijackings - was the beheading of journalist Daniel Pearl.

    It emerged yesterday that the Pentagon had held back a portion of a 26-page transcript of a legal hearing at Guantanamo Bay in which Mohammed claimed he had personally murdered the Wall Street Journal reporter in 2002. The Pentagon said it had done so in order to have time to warn the journalist's family.

    In the transcript, Mohammed told the tribunal: "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the internet holding his head."

    In all, according to the transcript - impossible to confirm because both the media and lawyers were refused entry to the hearing - Mohammed took responsibility for 31 attacks and plots around the world. Thousands of people died as a result of some of them though others never went beyond the planning stages.

    He placed himself at the centre of the September 11 al-Qa'ida attacks on New York and Washington, claiming he was "responsible for the 9/11 operation from A-Z", the attacks on a nightclub in Bali as well as previously undisclosed assassination attempts on former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and Pope John Paul II. He also claimed responsibility for plots to attack Heathrow.

    If genuine, the transcript provides the first public comments from Mr Mohammed since he was arrested in Pakistan in 2003 and passed to US authorities. In his remarks, made in broken English, to a panel assessing his status as a so-called enemy combatant, he expressed regret that children were killed in the 11 September attacks. He said Islam did not provide a "green light" to killing.

    Yet he insisted al-Qa'ida and its leader, Osama bin Laden, were fighting a just war. "As Americans consider George Washington a hero, Muslims, many of them, are considering Osama bin Laden. He is doing the same thing. He is just fighting. He needs his independence." It is unclear to what extent the US authorities believe Mohammed's claims but there was a suggestion that officials deem some to be boasts.

    Others pointed out that much of what Mohammed, known as KSM, claimed was already known. Richard Ben-Veniste, a member of the official commission that investigated the 9/11 attacks told US News & World Report: "I don't see anything new in what I have read about the 9/11 attacks and KSM's role."

    Campaigners questioned the conditions under which Mohammed made his testimony. The transcript refers to a claim that he was tortured by the CIA but also says that he is speaking without "duress".

    Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, told the Associated Press that it was impossible to know "unless there is an independent hearing".

    Others questioned why the military had not released a recording of the hearing. Kyle Hence of the group 9/11 CitizensWatch said: "There is too much secrecy in the military tribunal process. In light of the many discrepancies surrounding the capture of KSM, and the fact that we have only seen two photos of the man since 2003 and not a single clip of video, the media should demand photos and video of the so-called mastermind of 9/11."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  6. #36
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    Jan 2005
    Court order in Khalid Sheikh case

    By Syed Shoaib Hasan
    BBC News, Karachi

    A Pakistani court has ordered the government to locate three missing relatives of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

    The order was given in the city of Karachi in response to a petition filed by Mr Mohammed's Karachi-based sister which alleges state harassment.

    US officials say Mr Mohammed has admitted a role in the 9/11 bombings.

    They say that he has also admitted kidnapping and murdering the US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.

    'Detained or tortured'
    He is currently in Guantanamo Bay and has been named by President Bush as one of the top al-Qaeda suspects to be held in prison.

    "Every male member of the family has been detained or tortured by the state agencies," says advocate Ghulam Qadir Jatoi, who is representing the family.

    He says they are being tortured so that Mr Mohammed's sister will drop her petition.

    It was filed in the Sindh High Court and seeks to ascertain the whereabouts of missing male members of Mr Mohammed's family.

    It states that all are Pakistani citizens, and certified residents of the province of Balochistan.

    The three have gone missing since Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's arrest in February 2003.

    The petition claims that they are all in state custody.

    A Sindh assistant attorney general represented the government in court.

    He was ordered either to produce the men at the next hearing or give an explanation as to their whereabouts.

    The Pakistani government stated in earlier replies to the petition that the state had not arrested Mr Mohammed, nor had any knowledge of his whereabouts.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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