Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (sometimes also spelled Khalid Shaikh Mohammed; among at least fifty pseudonyms; born April 14, 1965) is a Pakistani Militant Islamist held by the United States at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp under terrorism-related charges. He was named as "the principal architect of the September 11 attacks" in the September 11 attacks Commission Report.
According to official records, Sheikh Mohammed was born on April 14, 1965, in Kuwait. His father was Sheikh Mohammed Ali Doustin Baluchi, a lay Deobandi preacher, who moved the family to Kuwait from Balochistan in the 1960s. He is fluent in Balochi, Urdu, Arabic, and English.
Mohammed was a member of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization, leading al-Qaeda's propaganda operations from around 1999 until late 2001. He confessed to FBI and CIA agents to a role in many of the most significant terrorist plots over the last twenty years, but his interrogators' use of torture has caused many to question certain aspects of his confessions.
Mohammed was captured on March 1, 2003, in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi by a combined operation of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Immediately after his capture, Mohammad was extraordinarily rendered to secret CIA prison sites in Afghanistan, then Poland, where he was interrogated by U.S. operatives. By December 2006, he had been transferred to military custody at Guantanamo Bay detention camp. In March 2007, after significant interrogations, Mohammed confessed to masterminding the September 11 attacks, the Richard Reid shoe bombing attempt to blow up an airliner, the Bali nightclub bombing in Indonesia, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (perpetrated by his nephew Ramzi Yousef), the murder of Daniel Pearl, and various foiled attacks, as well as numerous other crimes. He was charged in February 2008 with war crimes and murder by a U.S. military commission at Guantanamo Bay detention camp which could carry the death penalty if convicted.
In 2012, a former military prosecutor criticized the proceedings as insupportable due to confessions gained under torture. A 2008 decision by the United States Supreme Court also drew into question the legality of the methods used to gain such admissions and the admissibility of such admissions as evidence in a criminal proceeding.
On August 30, 2019, a military judge set a trial date of January 11, 2021, for Mohammed's death penalty trial. His trial was further postponed on December 18, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mohammed's trial restarted on September 7, 2021.