March 18, 2007

KSM: Game Over

After the release of the transcript from the Guantanamo tribunal of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, many people expressed skepticism about his claims of involvement in so many terrorist plots. Some even postulated that Mohammed had fallen prey to American torture, even though he denied acting under duress during the hearing, or that he had gone insane during his American detention. However, the one Western journalist to have interviewed the al-Qaeda mastermind believes that Mohammed understands he has come to the end of his run as a terrorist, and now wants to establish a record of his legacy as a reaction to his current impotence:

He lived for this spotlight, the chance to say: “Look at this spectacular operation I pulled off against the most powerful nation on earth.” But he is not a fantasist. KSM is a guy who enjoys plotting and being in the field. He could be the head of the mafia and also the imam of a group of people praying in Afghanistan. He would enjoy both roles.

Another possibility is that he might be taking credit so other people, still at large, can avoid the blame. We can never know for sure. One thing that is clear is his wish to be dignified as a prisoner of war. When he mentions George Washington, he is addressing America. He is saying: “This is your own hero, you used to be oppressed by the Brits and the Brits considered George Washington to be a terrorist.”

He knows that the smallest count against him will be enough to have him executed. Hardly anyone, even in Al-Qaeda, will believe he was responsible for all these operations. But he’s hoping they’ll think he has been selfless.

He is not a man of Allah but a man of action. I knew that when they were captured it would be KSM who talked first. Ramzi [Binalshibh] would be much tougher to interrogate: a true believer in Allah, in his own way. I would bet when he was captured Ramzi thought: “My true jihad has just started.” KSM would have thought: “This is it, game over.”

In the end, KSM's lack of faith has led him to give up, now that he has no way of breaking free from US control. Binalshibh, as Yosri Fouda notes, would see this as just another phase of the jihad, but KSM has no such illusions to bolster him. He knows his days are numbered, and that seventy-virgins will not await him at the end of his journey.

Mohammed wants to exit the stage as brashly as he strutted upon it. He wants to ensure that his reputation lives far beyond his actual presence on Earth, even if that means being remembered as the most bloodthirsty butcher outside of a dictatorship in long memory. What's more, Fouda insists that he is not exaggerating much, if at all. Fouda even notes that one attack with his fingerprints managed to get missed by KSM in his tribunal statement, the tanker attack on a Tunisian synagogue in 2002 that killed 21 people. If anything, Fouda postulates, he may just have blurred lines between what he did and what he planned to do.

Fouda knows that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed planned and perpetrated a number of murderous acts, including 9/11, although he thinks Mohammed Atef may have done the high-level planning for that attack. Fouda also speculates that KSM would not have made 9/11 a success had it not been for Mohammed Atta, whose organizational ability apparently far outstripped any other KSM underling. His death wound up hurting al-Qaeda, making it almost impossible for them to conduct complicated operations on the order of 9/11, even while KSM dreamed them up.

The master terrorist without the faith of his brethren has been exposed as nothing but a psychopath who likes to kill people for whatever reason he finds handy. He has nothing left but his mouth and his history, and he will use them both to establish his legacy -- which is the reason he's talking to the Americans now.


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» A bastard confesses. Was he tortured? from Public Secrets: from the files of the Irishspy
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few days, you've no doubt heard the news that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the former number three of al-Qaeda, confessed to a number of terrorist actions, including the 9-11 attacks, the [Read More]

» KSM… Still, with the discrediting of claims from Bitsblog
If we take as given that this KSM creature is not particularly religious, as is being cast, here , what in the world would cause him to do the things he did? I mean, clearly, he’s not fighting on a religious scale, but on a cultural one; he̵... [Read More]

Comments (4)

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 18, 2007 1:25 PM

Was he tortured? I doubt it. Guys like this like to brag. Besides, if people want to see torture all they have to do is look at what this murdering bastard did not Daniel Pearl.

Posted by Barbara Skolaut [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 18, 2007 2:51 PM

"Mohammed wants to exit the stage as brashly as he strutted upon it. He wants to ensure that his reputation lives far beyond his actual presence on Earth, ESPECIALLY if that means being remembered as the most bloodthirsty butcher outside of a dictatorship in long memory."

There - fixed that for ya', Ed.

Posted by chsw [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 18, 2007 7:32 PM

May he meet virgins that look like Yasser Arafat.


Posted by Neo [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 19, 2007 3:59 PM

When you hear of the the many deeds or misdeeds of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, they is always one nagging question. It's the same question that crosses your mind when you read of the troubles at DOJ and the CIA.

Is it true that only six people actually do anything, useful or unuseful, in their organizations ?

The same is true on coverage of the Iraq war. Why does it look like all the reporters, from all the various news organizations, are covering the same six blocks of Iraq ?

In both cases, there are literally hundreds of thousands of acres of land in Iraq and thousands of employees at DOJ and CIA, but it seems they are not ever important or utilitarian enough to help their organizaions.