36-page document written by alleged al-Qaeda kingpin Khalid Sheikh Mohammed from behind the barbed wire in Guantanamo Bay. Mohammed, who has been imprisoned in the US military-run camp in Cuba for more than seven years, is thought to have typed the first of a planned 3-part manifesto titled “Statement to the Crusaders of the Military Commissions in Guantanamo” on a laptop computer and signed it off on 31 October last year. Part 1 of the document called “Invitation to Happiness” is being revealed for the first time by Huffington Post in conjunction with Channel4 News. It is the first time the terror detainee has been allowed to communicate his thoughts to the outside world since his capture.
In a departure from his previous stance, which led the Guantanamo Bay prisoner to tell a military commission, “it would have been the greatest religious duty to fight you over your infidelity,” KSM, as he’s known in intelligence circles, instead seeks to convert the court to Islam through persuasion and theological reflection, going so far as to argue that “The Holy Quran forbids us to use force as a means of converting” and that reaching “truth and reality never comes by muscles and force but by using the mind and wisdom.”
“Don’t believe the media that the Mujahedeen believe that Islam spread in the past and will prevail in the future with the sword,” writes KSM, who has previously admitted to his role in the 9/11 attacks that killed thousands of Americans. He uses the bulk of the manifesto to put his newfound principle into practice, attempting to persuade his captors, prosecutors and lawyers that the path to true happiness lies in Islam.
KSM, who grew up in Kuwait and attended college in North Carolina, turns 50 this year. He has been held at the Guantanamo prison camp since 2006, after several years of being tortured by the CIA at “black sites” in undisclosed locations, and faces the death penalty for his 9/11 crimes.
In his new writing, while contending that he does not believe Islam should be instituted by force, KSM justifies the terrorist attacks for which he claims credit as acts of “self defense sanctioned by every constitution and international laws as the right of everyone whose land is occupied and whose people are attacked.”
KSM seeks to clarify one particular critique of al-Qaeda: He and the organization do not hate American freedoms.
“Do not believe those who claim that the Mujahedeen fight infidels to turn them to Islam or that we are fighting you because you practice democracy, freedom or claim that you uphold human rights,” he says, instead repeating the al-Qaeda narrative of a “jihad” or cosmic war against America in retaliation for attacking and oppressing Muslims and supporting Israel. He singles out the media and the intelligence services as responsible for misleading the public, claiming that “They hide from them why the Mujahedeen carried out 9/11 and what the truth is about the War on Terror.”
In the manifesto, KSM touches on a wide array of other issues, from video game consoles to marriage equality, military suicides, U.S. prison overcrowding, AIDS, the military-industrial complex, scientific evidence of evolution, the Catholic Church’s sex scandal, former President Richard Nixon.
Mohammed, the highest-value al-Qaeda operative in U.S. custody, wrote his “Statement to the Crusaders of the Military Commissions in Guantanamo” in October, addressing a copy to each member of the military court. The military judge overseeing the commissions process ruled last month that the experiences of “high-value detainees” being held in military custody at Guantanamo are no longer presumed to be classified — a decision that enabled HuffPost to obtain a copy of KSM’s manifesto, which is being published in collaboration with Great Britain’s Channel 4 News.
The October document, KSM’s first significant communication with the outside world since 2009, is presented as the first of three chapters. His next section, yet to be completed, will lay out “why the Mujahedeen carried out 9/11 and whether it was a terrorist operation or an act of self-defense,” and a final chapter will delve into “the truth about the so-called ‘War on Terror’.”
“For whose benefits or interests were these wars fought?” KSM writes in previewing that final chapter. “Did these wars take place to defend the American people and their interests? Were they fought to defend freedom and human rights? Women’s rights? Or were they fought for the benefits and interests of individuals and corporations? Who are those individuals and corporations? What are their interests and benefits? Isn’t it true that they work for the weapons industry lobbies, security contractors or Halliburton sister companies etc.?”
Related Link: LEAKED: Secret Diary of Guantanamo Prisoner Abu Zubaydah