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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed / Sympathy For The Devil

No trial is the error for justice

Among all his various admissions, two were particularly chilling: One was his acceptance of total responsibility for the atrocities committed on Sept. 11, 2001. "I was responsible for the 9/11 operation from A to Z," the U.S.-educated onetime engineer told the tribunal. The other was his pseudo-pious description of murdering Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. According to the transcript released by military authorities, Mohammed told the panel, "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head."

A chilling message to the world

The confessions of Khalid Shaikh Mohammad send a bone-chilling message to the world - allow Al Qaida to regroup in any way in its former haven in Afghanistan and the world will be a far, far more dangerous place than it is today.

Clearly the arrest of the Kuwaiti-born terrorist who claims he masterminded 9/11, personally beheaded the Wall Street Journal's Daniel Pearl in a Taliban-Al Qaida hideout in Karachi, Pakistan and planned 29 other terror operations was a huge body blow to Al Qaida. But his arrest has netted neither Osama Bin Laden nor Ayman Al Zawahiri or wrecked its ability to galvanise support as had been hoped.

Don't take Mohammed at his word

The most revealing aspect of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's military tribunal testimony wasn't the detail about the many al-Qaida plots he claims to have orchestrated, but the insight it offered into the suspected Sept. 11 mastermind himself.

In an hourlong written and oral presentation to his military captors Saturday, Mohammed showed himself to be ambitious, boastful and, when given the chance, quite talkative and even thoughtful about his cause and his craft.

It was the first public glimpse of the man who has claimed credit for not only the deadliest terrorist attacks in U.S. history, but several dozen other plots as well.

But was Mohammed revealing the truth about himself and his deeds, or just playing to the jury?

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

Chosen Path

What transforms a devout Islamic scholar into a dangerous and bloody-minded terrorist? In the case of Hambali, it may have been the radical teachings of his mentors, or perhaps it was his reaction to what he perceived as the "religious repression" of his native Indonesia throughout the 1970s and '80s. Either way he would eventually emerge as the most dangerous modern terrorist since Osama bin Laden and become a master at devising and commanding murderous attacks that would send shockwaves through Southeast Asia and the western world.

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