Monday, March 03, 2003

I have some early thoughts on the announced arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed:

  1. Here are two pictures of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed from the FBI wanted poster. Here (or here) is the picture of the arrested man. Do you think they are the same guy? Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is supposed to be 37 years old and to have has a reputation as a 'ladies' man' (like Atta, he was another one of these playboy religious fundamentalists). The guy in the picture doesn't look 37 or like a 'ladies' man'.

  2. One reason that the arrested man looks so bad may be because he is dead! Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was supposed to have died in the police raid on September 11, 2002 when Binalshibh was captured (see also here). The Pakistani Rangers are supposed to have shot him, despite the fact he had his hands up. It gets even better:

    "Later, the Pakistani press carried pictures of a message scrawled in blood on the wall of the flat, proclaiming the Muslim refrain of Kalma, in Arabic: 'There is no God except Allah, Mohammed is his messenger'). An official who was present in the flat at the time of the shooting has told Asia Times Online that the message was written by Shaikh Mohammed with his own blood as his life drained from him."

    His wife and child were supposedly taken from the apartment and handed over to the FBI. Three terrorists were supposedly captured, though only two of them were seen by reporters, their faces obscured by rags. One was described as "a burly, curly haired man" who was brought out "with his entire face covered by a blindfold."

  3. The Pakistanis claim to have arrested three men, including Mohammed, in an early morning raid on a house in the city of Rawalpindi near Islamabad (the Official Story of the capture is here). The sister of one of the men claims that her brother was alone at the time of the arrest and had no ties to any extremist group. He was apparently arrested for sheltering the other two, and had links with Jamaat-e Islami, a leading legal Islamist party in Pakistan. Some feel that Mohammed has been in custody for some time, perhaps caught at the same time as Binalshibh (Mohammed was said to have escaped at that time, but, as mentioned before, he may have died at that time or have been captured). The Pakistani ISI seems to have the ability to come up with suspects whenever there is a political need for them (e. g., Omar Saeed Sheikh or Binalshibh), an ability which isn't surprising if they have contacts with the Islamic fundamentalists.

  4. The timing of this is suspicious. Bush's preoccupation with Iraq has allowed some critics to claim that he has ignored the important search for members of al-Qaeda. Now Bush can claim that the Iraq war isn't interfering with the hunt for al-Qaeda. It also comes at a time of extreme embarrassment for the Bushists, as: 1) Turkey has turned down their blood money; 2) they've been caught using the testimony of an Iraqi defector to shore up the case for war when it turned out he told the CIA that Iraq had already destroyed its weapons of mass destruction (meaning that the U. S. has been lying to the U. N. and the world); and 3) they are probably illegally tapping the phones of the countries on the Security Council that they are trying to strong-arm. White House mouthpiece Ari Fleischer gloated: 'It's hard to overstate how significant this is. Osama Bin Laden is the ultimate symbol of terror. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is the ultimate planner of terror.'

  5. Like many others allegedly involved in 9-11, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed has an unusual background. He came to the United States to go to school, and first attended Chowan College in Murfreesboro, North Carolina, where he studied engineering. "Chowan College is affiliated with and supported by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina." "Chowan College, as a church-related institution, was founded upon and is dedicated to Judeo-Christian values." Just the place for an Islamic fundamentalist who had already joined the Muslim Brotherhood (of course, maybe exposure to a bunch of pious young Christian fundos drove him to terrorism!). Chowan didn't require an English-proficiency exam, and Mohammed at that time didn't speak English, so there may be a rational explanation, but it is still a very odd choice of school. He then attended the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where he learned the engineering which proved so useful to him in later life.


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