Terrorist's confession bravado but mostly true
The man long regarded as the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks confessed to them at a military hearing in Guantanamo, Cuba.
THE man described by the 9/11 Commission as the principal architect of the plan to fly airplanes into the World Trade Center and Washington landmarks has provided a broad confession, and most of what he said is likely to be true. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed claimed responsibility for the operation "from A to Z," and he probably would have taken greater blame if the alphabet didn't stop there.
Mohammed is known to have been a chief aide to Osama bin Laden, and most of what he is taking the blame for has been confirmed by other evidence. He indicated that some of his earlier statements to CIA interrogators after his arrest in 2003 were the result of torture, but that all statements made in the heavily redacted transcript released by the Pentagon were his words.
Among the terrorist actions for which he claimed blame were both the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the 2002 bombing of a Bali nightclub and the 2002 beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan. He also assumed responsibility for plans to assassinate former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II.
The 9/11 Commission, using Mohammed's initials, described his outlook as "theater, a spectacle of destruction with KSM as the self-cast star, the superterrorist." But some of the credit he claimed "may be mere bravado," "not credible" or "probably inflating his own role," the commission footnoted.
Mohammed's statements were made in informal hearings before a combatant status review tribunal, allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court to judge whether prisoners at Guantanamo can be held there indefinitely. Such tribunals, closed to the public, should be the exception rather than the rule.
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