KSM to U.S.: We're not fighting you over your freedom

In a new manifesto, the 9/11 mastermind urges against violence and challenges Western media narratives

Published January 14, 2014 9:55PM (EST)

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a man who helped mastermind the 9/11 terror attacks and took credit for personally beheading journalist Daniel Pearl, no longer believes violence should be used to spread Islam.

KSM has been imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay since 2006 (he was held and tortured in a number of CIA black sites before that) and now faces the death penalty in an embattled military trial over the 9/11 attacks. The detainee has penned a 36-page manifesto, which was obtained by the Huffington Post, in which -- while continuing to decry Western values -- he also condemns violent jihad.

"The Holy Quran forbids us to use force as a means of converting ... truth and reality never comes by muscles and force but by using the mind and wisdom," wrote KSM. He noted, "Don’t believe the media that the Mujahedeen believe that Islam spread in the past and will prevail in the future with the sword."

KSM used his manifesto to disavow what he sees as other mischaracterizations of the Mujahedeen in Western media and political discourse. Via HuffPo:

"Do not believe those who claim that the Mujahedeen fight infidels to turn them to Islam or that we are fighting you because you practice democracy, freedom or claim that you uphold human rights," he says, instead repeating the al-Qaeda narrative of a "jihad" or cosmic war against America in retaliation for attacking and oppressing Muslims and supporting Israel. He singles out the media and the intelligence services as responsible for misleading the public, claiming that “They hide from them why the Mujahedeen carried out 9/11 and what the truth is about the War on Terror."

By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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9/11 Al-qaida Guantanamo Bay Islam Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Ksm Manifesto Mujahedeen Terrorism