Security


Bosnia: Senior Al-Qaeda figure granted citizenship, says report




Sarajevo, 20 Jan. (AKI) - Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the senior Al-Qaeda official credited with masterminding the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States, was granted Bosnian citizenship before the attacks, a local newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Born in Kuwait to a family originally from the Baluchi region of Pakistan, Mohammed reportedly went to Bosnia in September 1995, disguised as a humanitarian worker for an organisation called Egyptian Relief.

He obtained Bosnian citizenship in November the same year, Bosnian daily Fokus said, quoting local intelligence sources.

The newspaper said Egyptian Relief was just a cover for the Cairo-based Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Fokus said war-time authorities knew about Mohammed’s presence in Bosnia and his citizenship was kept a state secret.

Thousands of mujahadeen from Islamic countries came to Bosnia in the early 1990s to fight with local Muslims and many remained in the country after the war, acquiring Bosnian citizenship.

The paper did not specify Mohammed’s movements after Bosnia. But he was arrested in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi in March 2003 and transferred to the American detention camp for suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The 9/11 Commission Report cited him as “the principal architect of 9/11 attacks” in which over 3,000 people were killed in the United States.

Western intelligence sources believe he is one of Al-Qaeda’s most senior officials and was responsible for a series of other terrorist attacks.

He was charged by the US military commission in February 2008 with acts of terrorism, war crimes and mass murder of civilians. If convicted, he faces the death penalty.




 

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