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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

9/11 plotter was a womaniser: report

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was a frequent visitor at Manila’s red-light district and tried to impress women by flashing wads of cash.

world Updated: Mar 16, 2007 17:17 IST


Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a Pakistani national and key 9/11 suspect who confessed his guilt during a Guantamo Bay prison hearing a couple of days ago, was a womaniser during his stay in Philippines.

And, he stayed in the best hotels and wore a white tuxedo at posh dinners.

He was a frequent visitor at Manila’s red-light district and tried to impress women by flashing wads of cash.

After being identified as a terrorist in 1991, he reportedly went on the run and took up a new identity in the Philippines in 1994.

Terror expert Dr Rohan Gunaratna, who looked into Mohammed’s shady past, said: "Mohammed’s womanising included phoning a dentist and telling her 'look out of the window and look up'.

What she saw was Mohammed and his nephew and protege Ramzi Ahmed Yousef waving from a helicopter hovering above her clinic and displaying a banner saying I love you."

His mad personality showed its sinister side when it came to his Al-Qaeda activities, The Sun was quoted as saying.

According to the paper, Mohammed is an intelligent man who managed to avoid capture for 12 years thanks to 27 aliases and many disguises. He got most of his education in the US.

Remarkably for a Muslim, the first college he went to in America in 1983 was one with strong Baptist links, Chowan University in North Carolina.

He then switched to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, in Greensboro, where he obtained a mechanical engineering degree in 1986.

Former classmate Sammy Zitawi remembers Mohammed as being pro-American at that time. "Everybody was praising the US for helping out the Muslims in Afghanistan, so why would anybody have anything to do against the US back then?" he said.

In 1987, Mohammed went to Afghanistan to fight Soviet occupation. There he received military training at mujahidin Abdul Rasul Sayyaf’s camp.

His parents, who were originally from Pakistan, are described as being very religious. Mohammed’s father, Sheikh Mohammed Ali Doustin Baluchi, was said to be a preacher and his mother, Halema, earned money by cleaning women’s bodies for burial.

In his confession Mohammed claimed he was sorry for killing so many people in the 9/11 attacks, because it was not permitted in Islam.

"I’m not happy that 3000 people had been killed in America. I feel sorry even. Never Islam give me green light to kill people," he said while admitting his guilt.

First Published: Mar 16, 2007 17:00 IST