9/11 'Mastermind' KSM Wants to Write to Obama
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (CN) - The self-professed "mastermind" of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks wants to send a letter to President Barack Obama discussing, among other things, Israel's recent conflict in Gaza, his lawyer said Thursday.
"The letter has been written recently," Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's attorney David Nevin said at a press conference. "I'm pretty confident that nothing in the letter is classified."
A protective order could prevent discussion about the contents in any detail, Nevin added.
Mohammed is accused of, and has boasted about, plotting the hijackings of airplanes that crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field in attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
A copy of his so-called "manifesto" was leaked early this year to the Huffington Post for an article titled "Mastermind of the Sept. 11 Attacks Wants to Convert His Captors."
Now, Mohammed wants to write a letter to Obama "about a number of issues, including Gaza," but communication restrictions have prevented him from sending it, Nevin said.
Mohammed and alleged Sept. 11 coordinator Ramzi bin al Shibh appeared in court this week wearing a Palestinian kaffiyeh. Another co-defendant, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, wore a scarf with an image of the Dome of the Rock, a shrine in Jerusalem considered to be the third holiest site in Islam.
James Connell, who represents Mohammed's nephew Ammar al-Baluchi, remarked that the "attire was different from what they normally wear" and what he called "a mute, silent expression of solidarity with the people of Gaza."
Condemning what he considered to be Israeli "war crimes," Connell added that another notorious former client, D.C. sniper and convicted terrorist John Allen Mohammad, did not have the same communication restrictions.
Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor of the military commissions, countered that the communication security measures in effect at Guantanamo were modeled after so-called "special administrative measures" found in many federal terrorism cases, including the one against 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing plotter Ahmed Ghailani.
"You will not see letters from Abdel Rahman leaving to the media," Martin said, referring to the so-called "Blind Sheikh" convicted in connection to the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.