Thursday, March 06, 2003

A few more thoughts on the supposed capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed:

  1. This is an excellent summary of the many inconsistencies in the story of the arrest; this is an article with some new details; here is what appears to be the Official Story of the outstanding and exceptional police work that enabled the wonderful and valiant ISI of that great ally of the United States, the friendly and unthreatening Pakistan, to make the incredible and unbelievable capture.

  2. The timing of the capture was extremely convenient for both Bush and Pakistan. Pakistan has been under increasing criticism from the United States for its continued harboring of terrorists and its nuclear relationship with North Korea. Many have pointed out that it acts more like an enemy than an ally. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf talked on the telephone with George Bush on February 24. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was allegedly captured on March 1. That would be just about enough time to set up a fake terrorist house and arrange for the fake capture.

  3. In the September 2002 capture of Ramzi Binalshibh, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was variously described as having been killed, having escaped, or having been captured. Obviously, the only way he could have been captured on March 1 is if he escaped in September. The September capture was

    "a four-hour battle with rifles, grenades and tear-gas."

    "Police commandos fought a pitched battle with al-Qaida suspects holed up in an apartment Wednesday, with combat spilling out onto adjoining rooftops. . . . Six officers, including two intelligence agents, were wounded when police stormed the top-floor apartment and the rooftop where the gunmen held out against hundreds of troops in the street and on the roofs of nearby apartment blocks. . . . The fighting in Karachi began Wednesday morning when agents of Pakistan's intelligence agency and police raided the apartment after receiving a tip that suspicious people were living there. Two militants were seized initially, but police retreated under fire from the others, authorities said. Hearing the gunfire, an unidentified neighbor called the police and reinforcements were brought in. The gunmen fired and lobbed grenades from the apartment window, then fled to the roof where they took position on the corners, police and witnesses said. . . . As the gunmen held out on the roof, police commandos in body armor and helmets entered the building and slowly worked their way to the upper floors. During a lull, police called on them to surrender. The gunmen responded with chants of 'Allahu Akbar,' or 'God is Great.'
    Moments later, the siege ended. Police led two men out of the building, their faces covered by rags and their arms tightly bound behind them. The third captive was not seen by reporters."

    Now, how did Khalid Shaikh Mohammed manage to escape from this? He was obviously trapped on the upper floors of a building, with the only escape onto the roof:

    ". . . two of the gunmen were arrested inside the apartment. Others fled to the roof, where they battled police for three hours before they were killed or captured."

    Do you think he got on the roof and flew away? A car containing some 'white people' was said to have speeded away, but how could this contain Khalid Shaikh Mohammed if he was trapped on an upper floor? If he did escape in some miraculous way, why did he put up absolutely no resistance to the capture on March 1?

  4. The house in which he was supposedly captured is a five-minute drive from the headquarters of the Pakistani army, and hundreds of senior officers live in the area. Hardly the place for a terrorist safe house, but very convenient for the military planners who might have to set up a fake capture on short notice.

My best guess is that Bush told Musharraf on February 24 that they could both use some good news. Musharraf told the ISI that it might be a good time to play the Khalid card, so they found some unfortunate guy in a local jail, sedated him, and made him do the Pakistani perp walk so he could be photographed for the American newspapers. The question remains open whether they had previously killed or captured Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. If he turns up in an American courtroom for a big 9-11 show trial, we can assume he was captured. If he doesn't, he was probably killed, either in the September raid or later while in custody.