One of Mohammed’s frequently stated goals was to be put on trial in civilian court in New York — which nearly happened until Congress last year blocked the Justice Department from transferring any Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States.
“It seemed to us that he was looking for a platform from which he could spout his hatred for all things American, and a trial would certainly present that opportunity,” Rodriguez writes. “It strikes me as more than a little ironic that several years later, Attorney General Eric Holder almost granted KSM his wish.”
Once he became compliant, Mohammed developed a rapport with his interrogators, watching PG-rated movies with them in his cell, and offering a religion-themed overview of the “history of the world.”
“A few months later, he reported that he was ready to continue and build on his earlier presentation. He had one requirement, however. Only those officers who sat through the prerequisite first session should be invited to the [second] session,” Rodriguez recalls.
He even penned “playful” notes to them, Rodriguez says. “Unless you are trying to manipulate me, could you turn up the heat a bit?” the terrorist asked in one missive.
But it was all a facade.
After telling an officer to have a “safe trip” before he left for home, Mohammed continued, “It is not that I wish you well. But if I ever get out of here, I want to personally be the one to kill you.”
By his own admission, Mohammed’s done it before.
“In a confession he later submitted for a potential tribunal in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, KSM wrote: ‘I decapitated with blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan,’ adding, ‘For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head.’”
Washington analysts had Mohammed pose holding a sack with a bowling ball in it, so they could compare his arm to those in the video cutting Pearl’s throat.
“Those photos compared to the actual video showed that KSM was not lying to us,” Rodriguez writes. “Just when you thought he had a human face, he would disappoint you.”