The following is an analysis of the statements made by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's at his Combatant Status Review Tribunal. I also recommend reading Daniel Byman's analysis of the same document for Slate.
At his CSRT, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) said, “I hereby admit and affirm without duress that I was a responsible participant, principal planner, trainer, financier, executor, and/or a personal participant in” 31 successful or attempted terrorists attacks.
KSM said that he “was responsible for the 9/11 Operation, from A to Z.” The 9/11 attacks resulted in the death of 2,972 people.
KSM said he “was responsible for the bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, which was frequented by British and Australian nationals.” 202 people died in that attack.
KSM said that he “was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center Operation.” Six people died when a bomb was detonated in a truck in the parking garage underneath the building.
KSM said he “was responsible for the Filka Island Operation in Kuwait.” In this attack, gunmen fired upon US soldiers who were training and killed one of them.
KSM said he “decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan.” Daniel Pearl was a national security reporter for the Wall Street Journal who was killed in early 2002.
KSM said Pearl was working with Mossad and the CIA. I do not believe that this is true, but even if it was it would not have justified Pearl’s murder.
By my count KSM admitted to responsibility for the murder of 3,182 people at his CSRT.
The CIA waterboarded KSM 183 times. KSM told his CSRT that he made false statements as a result of his torture, but that he was not under any pressure, threat, or duress during his CSRT.
KSM said that Osama Bin Laden was like George Washington and that Al Qaeda was fighting against American oppression.
KSM said that, “the language of any war in the world is killing. I mean the language of the war is victims.” KSM said that the attacks he conducted were part of a war.
KSM said that the US killed the wife and children of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri in an airstrike because they were in his house. KSM is right about that. The BBC says that the air strike took place in late 2001. Ayman al Zawahiri was not killed in the airstrike.
KSM asked the tribunal “to be fair with many Detainees which are not enemy combatant. Because many of them have been unjustly arrested. Many, not one or two or three.”
KSM said that some Islamist fighters who fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan could not return home and stayed in Afghanistan. KSM said that some of them were arrested by the US even though they did not fight against the United States.
KSM also said that many people who fought against the United States in Afghanistan came because they heard there was an enemy in Afghanistan and did not have any other issue with the United States.
He said that others joined the Taliban simply because that was their government at the time.
KSM said that a Sunni government sent spies to assassinate Osama Bin Laden but that Al Qaeda caught them. Al Qaeda sent them to the Taliban who imprisoned them. KSM said that these prisoners were then arrested by the US and brought to Guantanamo. I could find no confirmation or rebuttal to KSM’s claim that individuals who attempted to assassinate Bin Laden were imprisoned at Guantanamo.
KSM said that his kids were arrested for four months and abused by the United States. In March 2003 the British paper The Telegraph reported that KSM’s 9 and 7 year old sons were in American custody.
KSM said “So, enemy combatant itself, it flexible word. So I think God knows that many who been arrested, they been unjustly arrested.”
KSM was captured with Mustafa al Hawsawi by Pakistani forces in March 2003.
One of KSM’s closing statements was that, “War start from Adam when Cain he killed Abel until now. It’s never gonna stop killing of people.”
KSM has been charged for his role in the 9/11 attacks. The pre-trial hearings in his case are underway.