Sunday, March 2
9/11 'mastermind' arrested
By Kim Sengupta in Baghdad, Andrew Gumbel and Andy McSmith, The Independent, 2 March 2003
The alleged mastermind of the 11 September attacks and the head of al-Qa'ida military planning was captured in Pakistan yesterday.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a Kuwaiti alleged to have dreamed up the idea of flying planes into the World Trade Centre towers, and one of the biggest names wanted by the FBI, was one of three people detained in a raid on a house near Islamabad yesterday, Pakistani authorities announced.
"We have finally apprehended Khalid Shaikh Mohammed," presidential spokes- man Rashid Qureshi said last night. "It was the work of Pakistani intelligence agencies ... It is a big achievement. He is the kingpin of al-Qa'ida."
In an interview with Al-Jazeera television last year, Mohammed described himself as the man behind the 11 September attacks and said an original plan was to fly planes into nuclear power plants.
American officials have claimed previously that he gave the final go-ahead to Mohammed Atta, the hijackers' ringleader, to strike and that he had more to do with the attacks than Bin Laden.
Mohammed was almost captured last year in a raid in Karachi in which the alleged hijacker Ramzi Binalshibh was arrested. US intelligence has been chasing Mohammed since before 1995, when he was tracked to a flat in Qatar but again managed to escape before a raid. [...]