A horrifying look into the mind of 9/11’s mastermind

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

In Enhanced Interrogation, James E. Mitchell takes a horrifying look into the mind of 9/11’s mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed:

“KSM then launched into a gory and detailed description of how he beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl,” Mitchell writes. Up to that moment, the CIA did not know KSM had personally carried out the murder. When asked whether it was “hard to do” (meaning emotionally difficult), KSM misunderstood the question. “Oh, no, no problem,” KSM said, “I had very sharp knives. Just like slaughtering sheep.” To confirm his story, the CIA had KSM reenact the beheading so that it could compare the features of his hands and forearms to those in the video of Pearl’s murder. “Throughout the reenactment, KSM smiled and mugged for the cameras. Sometimes he preened,” Mitchell writes. When informed that the CIA had confirmed that he was telling the truth, KSM smiled. “See, I told you,” KSM said. “I cut Daniel’s throat with these blessed hands.”

After enhanced interrogations ended, the terrorists began cooperating:

Once their resistance had been broken, enhanced interrogation techniques stopped and KSM and other detainees became what Mitchell calls a “Terrorist Think Tank,” identifying voices in phone calls, deciphering encrypted messages and providing valuable information that led the CIA to other terrorists. Mitchell devotes an entire chapter to the critical role KSM and other detainees played in finding Osama bin Laden. KSM held classes where he lectured CIA officials on jihadist ideology, terrorist recruiting and attack planning. He was so cooperative, Mitchell writes, KSM “told me I should be on the FBI’s Most Wanted List because I am now a ‘known associate’ of KSM and a ‘graduate’ of his training camp.”

Supposedly al-Qaeda wanted to draw us into a quagmire in Afghanistan:

KSM said this is dead wrong. Far from trying to draw us in, KSM said that al-Qaeda expected the United States to respond to 9/11 as we had the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut — when, KSM told Mitchell, the United States “turned tail and ran.”


  1. Graham says:

    At this point I no longer know what to think about the enhanced interrogation program.

    There is a vast body of people out there with ostensible credentials or even relevant experience who claim it accomplished nothing.

    I can’t see clarity emerging.

  2. Lu An Li says:

    KSM was four or five times given the rough stuff for a total of 170 doses of the water cure. But no more than ten seconds each time. CIA officers [allegedly] have to go through the procedure themselves just to know what it feels like and say no one can stand it for more than fifteen seconds.

  3. Lucklucky says:

    There is no clarity possible, Graham. Sometimes it works; sometimes it does not.

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