Khalid Sheikh Mohamed linked to London suicide bomb plot
September 27, 2006
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was arrested in Pakistan in 2003, confessed that Al-Qaeda sized up London's subway for an attack at the same time as it hatched a plan to crash jets into Heathrow, Musharraf says in "In the Line of Fire."
Another Al-Qaeda militant tasked by Mohammed to carry out the reconnaissance later revealed a connection to two of the bombers who struck in London on July 7, 2005, the controversial book published on Monday says.
"We had learned from KSM (Mohammed) that Al-Qaeda's planners were thinking seriously about, and discussing, bombing Heathrow Airport in London ... as well as London's subway system," Musharraf writes.
"The suspect had been told by KSM to carry out reconnaissance of, and prepare a plan to attack, Heathrow Airport. After initial planning, he also suggested Canary Wharf and London's subway system as additional possible targets."
Mohammed, the self-proclaimed key conspirator behind the September 11 attacks on the United States, has previously been linked to the foiled Heathrow plot but not to the subway attacks.
Musharraf's book says the militant kept in touch with Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden at the time he was planning the British attacks through courier-delivered letters.
After his arrest in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi he was handed over to the United States. He is reportedly to face a hearing at Guantanamo Bay to determine if he is an "enemy combatant".
Musharraf does not name the second militant who scouted the possible London targets but it is believed to be Naeem Noor Khan, a Pakistani computer expert captured in Lahore in mid-2004. His whereabouts are unknown.
Pakistan gave Britain information on the militant's laptop about terror plots as well as "direct access" to Khan, Musharraf says in the book.
"Later this would reveal a link with Siddique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer," two of the young Britons of Pakistani heritage who blew themselves up in London on July 7, 2005, Musharraf says, without specifying when.
But he hits out at British authorities for not sharing this information on Tanweer and Siddique Khan with Pakistan for three weeks after the bombings "and despite the fact that Siddique and Tanweer had first been spotted 17 months earlier".
The revelations are the latest in a series to come from the Pakistani leader's book and from related TV interviews and serialisations.
Last week he said former US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage threatened to bomb Pakistan "back to the stone age" if it did not back Washington after 9/11, described by Musharraf as "what has to be the most undiplomatic statement ever made".
The US Central Intelligence Agency paid Pakistan millions of dollars for handing over more than 350 suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists, including Mohammed, Musharraf said in the initial serialisation of the book in The Times on Monday.
Musharraf's memoirs are vague on the whereabouts of bin Laden, who was said in a leaked French intelligence memo to have died recently in Pakistan of typhoid.
"It is only a matter of time before bin Laden is caught," he writes, before admitting that he does not know where he is and guessing that he may be in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar.
He does however reveal a wealth of detail about the Al-Qaeda network, including that Mohammed, fellow conspirator Ramzi bin al-Shibh and three others watched the first plane hit the World Trade Center from a Karachi Internet cafe.