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Alleged Terrorist Confesses to September 11th Attacks, Daniel Pearl Murder

  • VOA News

Terrorism suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the United States and dozens of other terrorist plots.
Mohammed's confessions were revealed in transcripts released by the Pentagon late Wednesday and thursday, after his military hearing on March 10th. Mohammed said he is responsible for the September 11th attacks "from A to Z." He also claimed responsibility for decapitating US journalist Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2002.

The Pentagon did not release Mohammed's comments about Pearl until today, after it had notified Pearl's family. Mohammed had long been a suspect in that killing.

The Pakistani national also said he was al-Qaida's military operational commander for all foreign operations around the world. He confessed to planning the 1993 attack on New York's World Trade Center and the 2002 attack in Bali, Indonesia, that killed more than 200 people. In all, he claimed to have a part in 31 separate attacks or plots, not all of which were carried out.

Mohammed's hearing was meant to determine whether he can be designated an enemy combatant and tried as such. Mohammed is among 14 so-called "high-value" prisoners undergoing such proceedings.

Citing security concerns, the Defense Department has barred reporters from covering the tribunals.

Human rights and civil liberty groups, foreign governments and some US politicians have condemned the secrecy of the tribunals and the legal process at Guantanamo. They say detainees are not provided with sufficient rights or legal representation.

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