During his military tribunal at Gitmo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM)– al Qaeda’s chief of external operations until he was captured in Pakistan – admitted that he was not only responsible for the 9/11 attacks. He also the mastermind of “second wave” attacks and other mega-attacks in the United States, Israel and around the globe.
In a written statement given to interrogators, KSM went on to confess no fewer than thirty-one separate terrorist attacks. Some had already been carried out. Others were foiled by U.S. and foreign security forces, or by the fact that KSM had been arrested. Each provided a sobering insight into what Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network really want.
1. I was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center Operation.
2. I was responsible for the 9/11 Operation, from A to Z.
3. I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jews, Daniel Pearl….
4. I was responsible for the Shoe Bomber Operation to down two American airplanes.
5. I was responsible for the Filka Island Operation in Kuwait that killed two American soldiers.
6. I was responsible for the bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, which was frequented by British and Australian nationals.
7. I was responsible for planning, training, surveying, and financing the New (or Second) Wave attacks against the following skyscrapers after 9/11:
a. Library Tower, California
b. Sears Tower, Chicago
c. Plaza Bank, Washington State
d. The Empire State Building, New York City
8. I was responsible for planning, financing & follow-up Operations to destroy American military vessels and oil tankers in the Straights of Hormuz, the Straights of Gibraltar, and the Port of Singapore.
9. I was responsible for the planning, training, surveying, and financing for the Operation to bomb and destroy the Panama Canal.
10. I was responsible for the planning, training, surveying, and financing for the assassination of several former American Presidents, including President Carter.
11. I was responsible for the planning, training, surveying, and financing for the bombing of suspension bridges in New York.
12. I was responsible for planning to destroy the Sears Tower by burning a few fuel or oil tanker trucks beneath it or around it.
13. I was responsible for the planning, surveying, and financing for the Operation to destroy Heathrow Airport, the Canary Wharf Building, and Big Ben on British soil.
14. I was responsible for the planning, surveying, and financing for the destruction of many night clubs frequented by American and British citizens on Thailand soil.
15. I was responsible for the surveying and financing for the destruction of the New York Stock Exchange and other financial targets after 9/11.
16. I was responsible for the planning, financing and surveying for the destruction of buildings in the Israeli city of Eilat by using airplanes leaving from Saudi Arabia.
17. I was responsible for the planning, surveying, and financing for the destruction of American embassies in Indonesia, Australia and Japan.
18. I was responsible for the surveying and financing for the destruction of the Israeli embassy in India, Azerbaijan, the Philippines and Australia.
19. I was responsible for the surveying and financing for the destruction of an Israeli ‘El-Al’ Airlines flight on Thailand soil departing from Bangkok Airport.
20. I was responsible for sending several mujahadeen into Israel to conduct surveillance to hit several strategic targets deep in Israel.
21. I was responsible for the bombing of the hotel in Mombasa that is frequented by Jewish travelers via El-Al airlines.
22. I was responsible for launching a Russian-made SA-7 surface-to-air missile on El-Al or other Jewish airliner departing from Mombasa.
23. I was responsible for planning and surveying to hit American targets in South Korea, such as American military bases and a few night clubs frequented by American soldiers.
24. I was responsible for providing financial support to hit American, Jewish and British targets in Turkey.
25. I was responsible for surveillance needed to hit nuclear power plants that generate electricity in several U.S. states.
26. I was responsible for planning, surveying, and financing to hit NATO headquarters in Europe.
27. I was responsible for the planning and surveying needed to execute the Boijinka Operation, which was designed to down twelve American airplanes full of passengers. I personally monitored a round-trip, Manila-to-Seoul, Pan Am flight.
28. I was responsible for the assassination attempt against President Clinton during his visit to the Philippines in 1994 or 1995.
29. I shared responsibility for the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul the second while he was visiting the Philippines.
30. I was responsible for the training and financing for the assassination of Pakistan’s President Musharraf.
31. I was responsible for the attempt to destroy an American oil company owned by the Jewish former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, on the Island of Sumatra, Indonesia.
The Ultimate Objective
As horrifying as these operations were, however, they pale in comparison to what al Qaeda has been praying and planning for a decade at least: acquiring weapons of mass destruction – ideally nuclear weapons – to be used against the United States to kill between four and ten million Americans.
Asked in 1998, for example, if al-Qaeda had nuclear or chemical weapons, bin Laden told Time magazine that “acquiring weapons for the defense of Muslims is a religious duty. If I have indeed acquired these weapons, than I thank God for enabling me to do so.” The timing of that statement was significant, for 1998 was the year that Pakistan tested nuclear weapons.
Since then, many more disturbing details have emerged about bin Laden’s feverish hunt for WMD and his deep-rooted belief that Allah has commanded him to use them to kill Christians and Jews. In the summer of 2002, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a Kuwaiti-born spokesman for al Qaeda posted the following statement on the internet: “Al-Qa’ida has the right to kill four million Americans, including one million children, displace double that figure, and injure and cripple hundreds of thousands.”
In May 2003, al-Qaeda unveiled a fatwa or religious ruling from a leading Saudi cleric that sanctioned the use of nuclear weapons against the U.S. and permitted the killing of up to ten million Americans.
“By some estimates, there is enough highly enriched uranium in global stockpiles to construct thousands of nuclear weapons, and it is safe to assume that there are many individuals who would not think twice about using such weapons.” FBI Director Robert Muller told a conference on nuclear terrorism in 2007. “The economics of supply and demand dictate that someone, somewhere, will provide nuclear material to the highest bidder, and that material will end up in the hands of terrorists. Al Qaeda has demonstrated a clear intent to acquire weapons of mass destruction. In 1993, Osama bin Laden attempted to buy uranium from a source in the Sudan. He has stated that it is Al Qaeda’s duty to acquire weapons of mass destruction. And he has made repeated recruiting pitches for experts in chemistry, physics, and explosives to join his terrorist movement.”
Former CIA Director George Tenet was skeptical, at first, about how seriously to take bin Laden’s WMD threats. But over time, he became a believer. He is now absolutely convinced that bin Laden’s top priority is to acquire nuclear weapons and detonate them inside the United States.
“Of all al-Qa’ida’s efforts to obtain other forms of WMD, the main threat is the nuclear one,” Tenet stressed. “I am convinced that this is where [bin Laden] and his operatives desperately want to go. They understand that bombings by cars, trucks, trains, and planes will get them some headlines, to be sure. But if they manage to set off a mushroom cloud, they will make history. Such an event would place al-Qa’ida on a par with the superpowers and make good on Bin Ladin’s threat to destroy our economy and bring death into every American household. Even in the darkest days of the cold war, we could count on the fact that the Soviets, just like us, wanted to live. Not so with the terrorists. Al-Qaida boasts that while we fear death, they embrace it.”
Never forget the evil done to use seven years ago today. Never get fogged about the evil that will be done to us if we get distracted and confused.