Thursday, March 15, 2007

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed killed in Pakistan by ISI in 2002?

Like Osama, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is proving very useful for a dead
Maybe that's why we only ever see the one photo of him, over and over
over and over

thanks to

A chilling inheritance of terror
By Syed Saleem Shahzad

KARACHI - Ever since the frenzied shootout last month on September 11
Karachi there have been doubts over whether Khalid Shaikh Mohammed,
self-proclaimed head of al-Qaeda's military committee, died in the
raid on his apartment.

Certainly, another senior al-Qaeda figure, Ramzi Binalshibh, widely
attributed as being the coordinator of the September 11 attacks on the
United States a year earlier, was taken alive and handed over to the
US. The
latest information is that he is on a US warship somewhere in the

Now it has emerged that Kuwaiti national Khalid Shaikh Mohammed did
perish in the raid, but his wife and child were taken from the
apartment and
handed over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in whose
they remain.

Sources close to Pakistani intelligence agents say that the wife,
intense interrogation, has revealed information that is likely to
lead to a
new crackdown in Pakistan, as well as in Southeast Asia.

After the Taliban and al-Qaeda were routed in Afghanistan at the end
2001, many fled to Pakistan to regroup and set up new cells. One of
as described in Asia Times Online, From the al-Qaeda puzzle, a picture
emerges, was in Karachi, with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed as its head.

Despite being tracked by informers within Pakistan's Inter-Services
Intelligence (ISI), Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who has been described as
"probably the only man who knows all the [al-Qaeda] pieces of the
always managed to remain one step ahead of any raiding parties in the
areas along the coastal belt of Karachi.

However, it was then learned that Shaikh Mohammed had established
connections with some local groups, including underworld figures, to
entrench his cell. Using highly sensitive equipment, in April a call
tracked to someone by the name of Arif, living in the densely
southwestern part of the city. Arif spoke to a Tunisian, passing on a
message from Shaikh Mohammed. Subsequently, the Tunisian is believed
to be
the man who rammed a truck laden with explosives into a Jewish
synagogue in
Djerba in Tunisia in which many French and German citizens died.

After this suicide attack, the FBI were onto Shaikh Mohammed in a big
and, no doubt not entirely without coincidence, on September 11 they
on a showdown at the apartment of Shaikh Mohammed, his wife and
child, in
the Defense Housing Authority near Korangi Road. A number of Arabs
were also
living in the apartment at the time.

Initially, the joint ISI-FBI plan was to take Shaikh Mohammed alive
so that
he could be grilled, especially as he was believed to have knowledge
other al-Qaeda cells in Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and
However, as a plainclothed officer climbed the stairs toward the
apartment, a hand grenade was thrown, and he retreated.
Reinforcements then
arrived, and for the next few hours a fierce gun battle blazed.

The FBI, still keen to take Shaikh Mohammed alive, teargassed the
area, and
a number of people were captured. However, despite instructions to the
contrary, a few Pakistan Rangers entered the flat, where they found
Mohammed and another man, allegedly with their hands up. The Rangers
nevertheless opened fire on the pair.

Later, the Pakistani press carried pictures of a message scrawled in
on the wall of the flat, proclaiming the Muslim refrain of Kalma, in
"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
Online that the message was written by Shaikh Mohammed with his own
blood as
his life drained from him.

Subsequently, to their surprise, the raiders learned that Ramzi
had been netted in the swoop. And nothing further was said of Khalid

But now it emerges that an Arab woman and a child were taken to an
ISI safe
house, where they identified the Shaikh Mohammed's body as their
husband and
father. The body was kept in a private NGO mortuary for 20 days
before being
buried, under the surveillance of the FBI, in a graveyard in the
district of Karachi.

The widow subsequently underwent exhaustive interrogation in the
custody of
FBI officials, during which she revealed details of people who
visited her
husband, and of his other contacts and plans. News of the death of
Shaikh Mohammed was intentionally suppressed so that officials could
play on
the power of his name to follow up leads and contacts.

From this it emerges that, in particular, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was
close contact with the Rabitatul Mujahideen, an alliance formed by
Indonesia's Jemaah Islamiyah to act as a central committee for
leaders of
the various militant groups in Southeast Asia. He was also in touch
dissident groups within the Lashkar-i-Taiba, a Pakistani-based
group that has been active in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in Indian-
Kashmir, and another Pakistani militia, the Ansarul Islam.

Intelligence officials now believe that through these links a new
wave of
terror will be unleashed - and officials have already taken the
to warn the intelligence agencies of friendly countries to check the
of all people who have undergone flight training in the past six
They have been led to believe that another World Trade Center/Pentagon
attack is being planned, although not on a target in the US.

((c)2002 Asia Times Online Co, Ltd. All rights reserved. Please
content@... for information on our sales and syndication policies.)

Oct 30, 2002

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