Skip to comments.Alleged '20th Hijacker' Claims Torture ("I am a businessman, a peaceful man")
Posted on 09/10/2007 2:42:24 PM PDT by presidio9
A Saudi suspected of being the "20th hijacker" in the Sept. 11 attacks has recanted his confession, saying he made false statements after he was beaten, abused and humiliated at Guantanamo, according to documents obtained Friday by The Associated Press.
Mohammed al-Qahtani who U.S. officials have said previously was subjected to harsh treatment authorized by former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld denied knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks in his first appearance before a military panel at Guantanamo Bay in October.
"I am a businessman, a peaceful man," al-Qahtani testified under oath, nearly five years after he was taken to the detention center in Cuba. "I have no connection to terrorism, violence or fighters."
The AP obtained a transcript of the hearing from the government under the Freedom of Information Act. This is the first extensive statement by al-Qahtani ever released.
An unidentified military officer at the hearing said the detainee admitted traveling in 2001 in Afghanistan, where he received terrorist training, met with Osama bin Laden and agreed to participate in a "martyr mission" for al-Qaida.
Al-Qahtani said the statements were not true and he only admitted to them while was being "tortured" at Guantanamo.
The alleged torture, which he details in a separate statement, included being beaten, restrained for long periods in uncomfortable positions, threatened with dogs, exposed to loud music and freezing temperatures and stripped nude in front of female personnel, he said.
"Once this torture stopped, I explained over and over that none of what I said was true," he told the Administrative Review Board panel, convened to determine whether he could be released.
"I have no intent to kill innocent people or anything like that," he said.
Al-Qahtani is one of the most notorious prisoners at Guantanamo, where the U.S. now holds about 340 men on suspicion of terrorism or links to al-Qaida or the Taliban.
The U.S. has alleged that al-Qahtani, who military records show is about 28, barely missed becoming the 20th hijacker on Sept. 11, 2001. The Saudi was denied entry into the country by immigration agents at the airport in Orlando, Florida.
At the time, he had more than $2,400 in cash, no return plane ticket and lead hijacker Mohamed Atta was waiting for him, said Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman.
"We think he is a dangerous terrorist," he said.
The U.S. treats detainees humanely and denounces the use of torture, Gordon said, but military investigators in 2005 concluded that al-Qahtani had been subjected to harsh treatment approved by Rumsfeld because he would not crack under interrogation.
The investigation led by Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall M. Schmidt confirmed, among other things, that al-Qahtani was forced to wear women's underwear, was threatened with dogs, and kept in solitary confinement for 160 days. At one point, he was interrogated for 18-20 hours per day on 48 of 54 days.
Schmidt concluded, however, that while the treatment was abusive it was within policy and not torture because he was not denied food, water or medical care, and interrogators did not inflict physical pain on him.
Al-Qahtani's lawyer, Gitanjali Gutierrez of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said the detainee told her in meetings that he planned to recant his confession but this was his first chance to make any kind of official statement to U.S. authorities.
"It should be disturbing to anyone," she said.
What are we up to about eight or ten “20th hijackers” now?
..aaaahhhhhh, blow it out your turban
A tape from the place he now abides.
The scene: a face appears from heavy smoke and flames... the face begins to speak..
PLEASE HELP ME.... My name is Achmed. I am in flames. This is not the brothel I was promised by the false prophet, Mohammed. All that can hear, be warned, Allah isn’t really god. I was deceived. I’m really sorry I was such a bad person and killed innocent people because of my lust for blood. But it’s too late. I should have listened to those that told me that Jesus Christ was the way and the truth. But alas, the divide us too great now and my tongue begs for a drop of water... woe is me, woe is me....
...fades out into darkness, flames and smoke.
oops, wrong highjacker...
“It should be disturbing to anyone,” .............. Really? I think cutting his head off with a knife and hearing him scream would be much more appropriate. But that would be “real torture”.
“I am a businessman, a peaceful man,” al-Qahtani testified under oath, nearly five years after he was taken to the detention center in Cuba. “I have no connection to terrorism, violence or fighters.”
“I have no intent to kill innocent people or anything like that,” he said.
Yeah and I’m Santa Claus.
Wee not cutt off yure hedd more than one time."
"Wee arr swearing to Allah!"
But of course... he was still probably fed better than had he been hiding in his normal terrorist sanctuary.
I thought Zacharias Moussaoui was supposed to be the 20th hijacker.
Still, this guy is clearly guilty, but watch all the liberals falling all over themselves to blare his story.
I thought the 20th hijacker went straight to Iraq after 9/11?
Did we catch him there and bring him back?
His first extensive statement was his confession, slimeballs...
The ones he was wearing when apprehended?
Yah, that can be torture. I went through that with 2 teenaged kids.
Nah... the ones the Clintons donated to charity. Maybe they donated them to the American Muslim Council [aka Hillary’s “American Museum Council” as they are known by the FEC] which might have passed them on to the Gitmo Chaplain program.
It's hard to tell what most oftheses terrorists are up to until you start capturing their friends. As we caught more people the picture of what Moussaoui was up to was beginning to clear and with more intel coming in with time we could verify or disprove what was extracted from Moussaoi.
Saw his head off, it’s the only way to be sure.
No, what’s disturbing to me is that the sob is still breathing. No actual torture allegations have ever been proven with regard to Guantanamo or Abu Graib. Panties over the head, male nudity in front of females, loud music and such is more akin to fraternity hazing than anything else. Show me people whose fingernails were removed with pliers, whose genitilia were removed, whose digital bones were broken one at a time, who were burned, who had sticks jammed into their ears, who had to watch their wives and daughters being raped and killed and I’ll apply the word torture to the deed. The rest of this stuff does not rise above the level of harrassment.
These people are, afterall, stateless terrorists who choose to operate outside boundries of what is considered civilized conflict. Please, spare me the crocodile tears for these b******* who indiscriminately kill women and children, use them as human bombs and who hide behind them. Spare me the self rightcious mewing over people who cut peoples throats just for the sheer pleasure of it.
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