Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 (9/11) Islamic terrorist attacks on the United States, was approved for a visa by the federal government just weeks before the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans.
About six weeks before the 9/11 attacks, Mohammed, known by federal officials as “KSM,” was approved for a tourist visa to enter the U.S. despite having been indicted in 1996 for terrorism. The 19 hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks had also been approved for visas.
The 9/11 Commission Report details:
Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, the chief tactical planner and coordinator of the 9/11 attacks, was indicted in 1996 by Federal authorities in the Southern District of New York for his role in earlier terrorist plots. Yet, KSM, as he is known, obtained a visa to visit the United States on July 23, 2001, about six weeks before the 9/11 attacks. [Emphasis added]
Although he is not a Saudi citizen and we do not believe he was in Saudi Arabia at the time, he applied for a visa using a Saudi passport and an alias, Abdulrahman al Ghamdi. He had someone else submit his application and a photo through the Visa Express program. There is no evidence that he ever used this visa to enter the United States. [Emphasis added]
In 1998, KSM was linked to the bombings on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Likewise, in 2000, KSM was linked to the bombing on the USS Cole.
Attorneys for KSM, along with other terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay, are reportedly negotiating plea agreements with the federal government for their involvement in the 9/11 attacks and other U.S. terrorist attack plots.
“Negotiated agreements are part of all criminal cases, and negotiations have taken place throughout the case,” an attorney for KSM’s nephew, Ammar al-Baluchi who is accused of being a courier for Osama bin Laden, said in a statement. “This process is not unusual: the vast majority of capital cases in the United States are resolved by plea.”