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Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (also transliterated as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, and other ways) (b. 1964/5) is widely reported to have been the military head of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization.

He also was reportedly the mastermind of the foiled Operation Bojinka plot, the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Bali nightclub bombings, the failed bombing of American Airlines Flight 63, the murder of Daniel Pearl, and other al-Qaeda attacks.

Mohammed has used Ashraf Refaat Nabith Henin, Khalid Adbul Wadood, Salem Ali, Abdul Majid, Abdullah al-Fak'asi al-Ghamdior, and Fahd Bin Adballah Bin Khalid as several of his 27 total aliases.

Some intelligence circles have called him the "Forrest Gump of terrorism", as he had been involved with almost every single terrorist plot related to Islamist organizations in the 1990's and early 2000's, up to his capture.

On March 1, 2003, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was reported to have been arrested in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. He was previously reported arrested or killed in Pakistan on September 11, 2002. He was close to former Jemaah Islamiyah leader Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali.

An acronym somewhat widely used for his name is KSM.


He is usually reported to have been born in Kuwait. His parents are said to have come from the Baluchistan province of Pakistan, just like Mohammed's nephew, Ramzi Yousef. Mohammed's date of birth has been variously reported as March 1, 1964 or April 14, 1965.

He attended Chowan College, a small Baptist school in North Carolina, for a few years (beginning in 1983) before transferring to the North Carolina Agriculture and Technology University and completing a degree in engineering in 1986. Subsequently he went to Afghanistan and joined the fight against the Soviet Union during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. (Some sources believe he was fighting in Afghanistan before he came to the United States.)

While he was in the Philippines in late 1994 and early 1995, he said that he was a Saudi or a Qatari plywood exporter named Abdul Majid. He had parties with alcohol and spent lavish times with Manila women. He often went to go-go bars and karaoke clubs and held meetings at expensive hotels. He made large tips.

He is widely reported to have buzzed a tower with a rented helicopter to impress a female dentist who was one of his girlfriends. He called her on a cell phone while buzzing the tower, telling her to wave.

At the time, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was staying at a lavish apartment across the street from a person that would become the President of the Philippines. He would often take trips to places such as Brazil to promote Konsojaya, a Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia based company that was secretly funding militant Muslims, including Yousef and Mohammed, in Southeast Asia.

According to Philippine police, a waitress at the Manila Bay Club on Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City named Arminda Costudio was introduced to Mohammed, who was using the name Salem Ali and claiming that he was a Qatari businessman. Costudio said that he was always with Ramzi Yousef, and her description was identical to Abdul Hakim Murad's description. Both people described that he had "excess meat" on his middle finger. Neither knew him under his true name.

Costudio met him again twice at the Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City in mid-1994. Each time, he wore a white tuxedo and paid for dinner with a wad of cash. He gave out candies to group members. Costudio became the girlfriend of Wali Khan Amin Shah while he was in Metro Manila.

Mohammed had a girlfriend, Rose Masquera, who worked at a Quezon City bar.

Mohammed went on scuba trips to Puerto Galera with Yousef. The trips may have been a cover to train Abu Sayyaf militants.

Mohammed worked on Operation Bojinka, a Manila-based plot to destroy eleven commercial airliners flying routes between the United States and East and Southeast Asia.

In December, 1994, Ramzi Yousef, a conspirator, had engaged in a test of a bomb on Philippine Airlines Flight 434 using only about 10 percent of the explosives that were to be used in each of the bombs to be planted on United States airliners. The test resulted in the death of a Japanese national on board a flight from the Phillippines to Japan.

He conspired with Ramzi Yousef on the plot until it was discovered in January 5, 1995. He left for Pakistan days or weeks after the plot was discovered for Qatar. After a request to arrest him came to the Qatari government from the United States, Mohammed went to Afghanistan.

In 1996, he was secretly indicted by the Southern District of the state of New York for his alleged involvement in Operation Bojinka.

On September 11, 2002, members of Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) variously claimed to have killed or captured Mohammed during a raid in Karachi which resulted in the capture of Ramzi Binalshibh. Some people have reported that Mohammed escaped, but that his family was captured.

On March 1, 2003, the ISI reported that they had captured him in a raid in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The raid was variously reported to be all-Pakistani, in the presence of the United States FBI, or a joint raid with the FBI. Following the report of the capture, some Pakistani officials say he was immediately transferred to US custody, while others said he remained in Pakistani custody. The raid took place at the home of Ahmed Abdul Qudoos, who was also reportedly arrested as an al-Qaida agent. Qudoos' family told media that Mohammed was not in the house, that Qudoos was disabled and had never been associated with al-Qaeda, and that the police conducting the raids did not ask for Mohammed. Other newspaper accounts said that former Taliban officials in Pakistan said that Mohammed was not captured and was still at large.

Many reports have indicated that Mohammed was either an asset or a member of the ISI during the 1980s or 1990s, and that he has carried a Pakistani passport since the 1980s.

Mohammed is also widely described as living a lavish lifestyle, even while he was on the run from the law. He travelled all over the world on false passports, and got very close to getting captured by U.S. authorities on numerous occasions.

Other Attacks

Mohammed is also a suspect in the Tunisian synagogue bombing.

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