March 16, 2007

KSM, The Dissolute

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's declaration of involvement in dozens of al-Qaeda attacks, actual and planned, comes as no surprise to those who have followed his career. The London Telegraph paints a picture of a man who joined the jihad for fun rather than faith, and whose life is filled with examples of excess:

In contrast to most of al-Qa'eda's senior leaders, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed liked to indulge in the sins of the Western civilisation that his movement is devoted to wiping out.

In the mid-1990s, while plotting the hijacking and bombing of a dozen US airliners and, to a lesser extent, the assassination of Pope John Paul II, he frequented nightclubs and pole-dancing bars in Manila with some regularity.

In Kuala Lumpur he reportedly buzzed a high-rise building in a helicopter where one of his numerous girlfriends was staying, ringing her from the cockpit and telling her to look out of the window.

He would introduce himself as a wealthy businessman from Qatar, which had some truth - he worked as an engineer for the government in the Gulf state for a time.

Peter Bergen, the author and leading expert on al-Qa'eda, said: "I think he really was in it for the fun. To use a horrible metaphor in this context, he was having a blast. He was obviously pathologically antisemitic but not very religious himself. He wasn't one to quote Saudi clerics."

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was not the only jihadi who indulged the sins of the flesh while on assignment as a terrorist. The 9/11 attackers also enjoyed so-called Western decadence during their short stay in the United States. As the 9/11 Commission report noted in its excellent recounting of the plot, a half-dozen of them made test flights to Las Vegas in the three months preceding the attack -- and while in Sin City, they indulged in alcohol, gambling, and strip clubs. KSM apparently lived the dissolute lifestyle as a rule, though, and not an exception.

US counterterrorist officials used to refer to KSM as Forrest Gump, having been involved in so many plots and places. He thrived as AQ's idea man, dreaming up large schemes and having to have them corralled into workable plans. Mohammed first conceived of 9/11 as an attack with ten planes at once hitting targets all over the US; Osama bin Laden scaled it back to four planes as a more practical attack to plan and execute.

Many have treated his claims with skepticism, especially his involvement with the death of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter beheaded in Pakistan in 2002. However, other captured suspects linked Mohammed to Pearl's murder before this, the Telegraph reports. Intelligence officials have independent confirmation of most of the acknowledged #3 man's claims of participation in the other plots on his list.

Was KSM's braggadocio meant to puff himself up in front of the American tribunal? Certainly. He doesn't have much to lose by declaring himself a master terrorist at this point anyway, and it fits with his personality. It also seems that it may have been the truth, too.


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Comments (2)

Posted by Del Dolemonte [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 16, 2007 11:19 PM

The misnamed "conservative democrat" sez:

"Del give me a break, the 9/11 Comission said there was no working reationship etween Saddam and Bin Laden"

Nice try!

Um, read my post again. I said it was Clinton's Justice Department that claimed there was an Iraq-al Qaeda link-not the 9/11 Commission, which was mostly a sham to begin with, as one of the Commission "members'", Jaime Gorelick, should have been a witness, not a member. In addition, the Dems also planted on said commission one of Hillary Clinton's lawyer colleagues, Richard Ben-Veniste, who worked with Hillary on the Nixon Watergate hearings. The sole purpose of the Dems putting Gorelick and Ben-Veniste on the 9/11 Commission was to insure that Clinton would not get as much blame as he deserved for 9/11.

In addition, numerous news sources, namely ABC News and the BBC, had reported on al Qaeda-Iraq links way back in 1998. In addition, Clinton's 1992 campaign advisor on Iraq, Laurie Mylroie (sp) has gone so far to tie Iraq directly to 9/11, and a Clinton-appointed Federal Judge in New York City, Judge Harold Baer, actually ruled that in his opinion a jury would find Iraq guilty of having been connected to 9/11:

For your dining and dancing pleasure, here is the complete text of the 1998 Clinton Justice Department indictment of bin Laden, courtesy of the non-Bush-friendly Federation of American Scientists:


"4. Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in
the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist
group Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their
perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States.
In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of
Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on
particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al
Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq."

Posted by Jeff M [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 17, 2007 8:55 AM

It's people like our friend "conservative democrat" that are going to get us, and more importantly our children, all killed.
Reliance on the pronouncements of a bunch of political bureaucrats to define reality, instead of defining reality by observance of the empirical, is pretty close to insanity.

On another point entirely, if find it interesting that in his list of 32 terrorist conspiracies of which KSM claims to be the architect, number three is redacted. Numbers one and two are claims revolving around the World Trade Center. I'll bet you that the redacted claim was the bombing of the Murrah Building in OK City.