Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, confessed to that attack and a chilling string of other terror plots during a military hearing at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to a transcript released Wednesday by the Pentagon. “I was responsible for the 9/11 operation from A to Z,” Mohammed said in a statement read during the session, which was held last Saturday.
The transcripts also refer to a claim by Mohammed that he was tortured by the CIA, although he said he was not under duress at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo when he confessed to his role in the attacks.
In a section of the statement that was blacked out, he confessed to the beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, The Associated Press has learned. Pearl was abducted in January 2002 in Pakistan while researching a story on Islamic militancy. Mohammed has long been a suspect in the killing.
A revised transcript released Thursday by the U.S. military.
“I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan,” Mohammed is quoted as saying in a transcript of a military hearing at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, released by the Pentagon.
“For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head,” he added.
Mohammed’s claimed involvement in the 2002 slaying of the Wall Street Journal reporter was among 31 attacks and plots — some of which never occurred — he took responsibility for in a hearing Saturday at the U.S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Pentagon said.
It released the bulk of the transcript late Wednesday, but held back the section about Pearl’s killing to allow time for his family to be notified, said Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that it had learned that the transcripts released Wednesday evening had blacked out the reference to Mohammed’s confession about the Pearl slaying. Pearl was abducted in January 2002 in Pakistan while researching a story on Islamic militancy. Mohammed has long been a suspect in the slaying, which was captured on video.