April 02, 2004

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

The operational planner for the 9/11 attacks reveals the full extent of the original plan: 5 planes on each coast, targeting buildings. The Herald Sun claims to have a transcript of part of his interrogation.

In addition to revealing more about the relationship between Al-Qa'ida and Hambali, the architect of the Bali bombings, he gave information about the aftermath of the attackes:

When the suicide planes struck on September 11, al-Qaeda seems to have been taken by surprise - both by the success of the attacks and by the US reaction.

"Afterwards we never got time to catch our breath, we were immediately on the run," Khalid said.

He said the war on terrorism and the US bombing of Afghanistan completely disrupted their communications network. Operatives could no longer use satellite phones and had to rely on couriers, although they still used internet chat rooms.

"It was at this time we discussed the Heathrow operation," Khalid said. "Osama declared (British Prime Minister Tony) Blair our principal enemy and London a target."

He arranged for operatives to be sent from Pakistan and Afghanistan to London, where surveillance of Heathrow airport and the surrounding areas began. However, he claimed, the operation never got beyond the planning stages. "There was a lot of confusion," he said. "I would say my performance at that time was sloppy."

I have no idea how accurate this "transcript" is, but it's good news if the Afghan conflict disrupted them enough to keep further attacks from happening.

Posted by richard at April 2, 2004 10:08 PM