The Interrogation of Khalid Shayk Muhammad

Senate Select Committe on Intelligence

Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program, pp. 81[101] - 96[122].
December 2014

KSM Held in Pakistani Custody, Provides Limited Information; Rendered to CIA Custody at DETENTION SITE COBALT, KSM Is Immediately Subjected to the CIA's Enhanced Interrogation Techniques


The capture of KSM was attributable to a single CIA source who first came to the CIA's attention in the spring of 2001. [NOTE 432] The source [REDACTED] led the CIA and Pakistan authorities directly to KSM. KSM was held in Pakistani custody from the time ofhis capture on March 1, 2003, to March [REDACTED], 2003, and was interrogated by CIA officers and Pakistani officials. According to CIA records, while in Pakistani custody, KSM was subjected to some sleep deprivation, but there are no indications of other coercive interrogation techniques being used. [NOTE 433] While KSM denied knowledge of attack plans and the locations of Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, [NOTE 434] he did provide limited information on various al-Qa'ida leaders and operatives who had already been captured. KSM's willingness to discuss operatives when confronted with information about their capture—behavior noted by CIA officers on-site in Pakistan—was a recurring theme throughout KSM's subsequent detention and interrogation in CIA custody. [NOTE 435]

Less than two hours after KSM's capture, anticipating KSM's arrival at DETENTION SITE COBALT [NOT ITS REAL NAME, SEE BELOW], the chief of interrogations, [REDACTED] sent an email to CIA Headquarters with the subject line, "Let's roll with the new guy." The email requested permission to "press [KSM] for threat info right away." [NOTE 436] Later that day, CIA Headquarters authorized [REDACTED] to use a number of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques against KSM. The cable from CIA Headquarters did not require that non-coercive interrogation techniques beused first." [NOTE 437] On March [REDACTED] 2003, two days before KSM's arrival at the detention site, CIA Headquarters approved an interrogation plan for KSM [NOTE 438]

According to CIA records, interrogators began using the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques at DETENTION SITE COBALT a "few minutes" after the questioning of KSM began. KSM was subjected to facial and abdominal slaps, the facial grab, stress positions, standing sleep deprivation (with his hands at or above head level), nudity, and water dousing." [NOTE 439] Chief of Interrogations [REDACTED] also ordered the rectal rehydration of KSM without a determination of medical need, a procedure that the chief of interrogations would later characterize as illustrative of the interrogator's "total control over the detainee." [NOTE 440] At the end of the day, the psychologist on-site concluded that the interrogation team would likely have more success by "avoiding confrontations that allow [KSM] to transform the interrogation into battles of will with theinterrogator." [NOTE 441]  KSM's reporting during his first day in CIA custody included an accurate description of a Pakistani/British operative, which was dismissed as having been provided during the initial "'throwaway' stage" of information collection when the CIA believed detainees provided false or worthless information. [NOTE 442]

On March 5, 2003, and March 6, 2003, while he was still at DETENTION SITE COBALT, KSM was subjected to nudity and sleep depnvation. On March 5, 2003, KSM was also subjected to additional rectal rehydration, [NOTE 443] which [REDACTED] OMS, [REDACTED] described as helping to "clear a person's head" and effective in getting KSM to talk." [NORTE 444] On March 6, 2003, [REDACTED] adopted a "softer Mr. Rogers' persona" after the interrogation team concluded that the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques had caused KSM to "clam up." [NOTE 445] During this session KSM was described as "more cooperative," and the day's interrogation was deemed the "best session held to date" by the interrogation team." [NOTE 446] During this period KSM fabricated information on an individual whom he described as the protector of his children." [NOTE 447] That information resulted in the capture and CIA detention of two innocent individuals. [NOTE 448]


The CIA Transfers KSM to DETENTION SITE BLUE, Anticipates Use of the Waterboard Prior to His Arrival


Within hours of KSM's capture, ALEC Station successfully argued that CIA contractors SWIGERT [NOT HIS REAL NAME, SEE BELOW] and DUNBAR [NOT HIS REAL NAME, SEE BELOW] should take over the interrogation of KSM upon KSM's arrival at DETENTION SITE BLUE [NOT ITS REAL NAME, SEE BELOW]. [NOTE 449] On March 3, 2003, CIA Headquarters approved an interrogation plan indicating that KSM "will be subjected to immediate interrogation techniques," and that "the interrogation techniques will increase in intensity from standard to enhanced techniques commensurate with [KSM's] level of resistance, until he indicates initial cooperation. [NOTE 450] On March [REDACTED], 2003, the day of KSM's amval at DETENTION SITE BLUE, the on-site medical officer described the use of the waterboard on KSM as inevitable:

"[T]he team here apparently looks to use the water board in two different contexts. One is as a tool of regression and control in which it is used up front and aggressively. The second is to vet information on an as needed basis. Given the various pressures from home vs what is happening on the ground, I think the team's expectation is that [KSM] will [be] getting treatment somewhere in between. I don't think they believe that it will be possible to entirely avoid the water board given the high and immediate threat to US and allied interests. It is an interesting dynamic because they are well aware of the toll it will take on the team vs. the detainee. The requirements coming from home are really unbelievable in terms of breadth and detail." [NOTE 451]

Meanwhile, OMS completed draft guidelines on the use of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques, specifically addressing the waterboard interrogation technique. These guidelines were sent to the medical personnel at the detention site. The guidelines included a warning that the risk of the waterboard was "directly related to number of exposures and may well accelerate as exposures increase," that concerns about cumulative effects would emerge after three to five days, and that there should be an upper limit on the total number of waterboard exposures, "perhaps 20 in a week." CIA records indicate that, as of the day of KSM's arrival at DETENTION SITE BLUE, the interrogation team had not reviewed the
draft OMS guidelines. [NOTE 452]

KSM arrived at DETENTION SITE BLUE at approximately 6:00PM local time on March [REDACTED], 2003, and was immediately stripped and placed in the standing sleep deprivation position. [NOTE 453] At 6:38 PM, after the medical and psychological personnel who had traveled with KSM from DETENTION SITE COBALT cleared KSM for the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques, the detention site requested CIA Headquarters' approval to begin the interrogation process. [NOTE 454] The detention site received the approvals at 7:18 PM," [NOTE 455] at which point the interrogators began using the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques on KSM." [NOTE 456]

Between March [REDACTED] 2003 and March 9, 2003, contractors SWIGERT and DUNBAR, and a CIA interrogator, [REDACTED], used the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques against KSM, including nudity, standing sleep deprivation, the attention grab and insult slap, the facial grab, the abdominal slap, the kneeling stress position, and walling. [NOTE 457] There were no debriefers present. According to the CIA interrogator, during KSM's first day at DETENTION SITE BLUE, WIGERT and DUNBAR first began threatening KSM's children. [NOTE 458] CTC Legal [REDACTED], later told the inspector general that these threats were legal so long as the threats were "conditional." [NOTE 459] On March 9, 2003, KSM fabricated information indicating that Jaffar al-Tayyar and Jose Padilla were plotting together [NOTE 460] because, as he explained on April 23, 2003, he "felt some pressure to produce information about operations in the United States in the initial phases of his interrogation." [NOTE 461]

On March [REDACTED] 2003, Deputy Chief of ALEC Station [REDACTED], and a second ALEC Station officer, [REDACTED], arrived at DETENTION SITE BLUE to serve as debriefers. The detention site also reportedly received a phone call from CIA Headquarters conveying the views of the CIA's Deputy Director of Operations James Pavitt on the interrogation of KSM. [NOTE 462] Pavitt later told the inspector general that he "did not recall specifically ordering that a detainee be waterboarded right away," but he "did not discount that possibility." According to records of the interview, "Pavitt did recall saying, 'I want to know what he knows, and I want to know it fast,'" [NOTE 463] The on-site medical officer later wrote in an email that the CIA interrogators "felt that the [waterboard] was the big stick and that HQ was more or less demanding that it be used early and often." [NOTE 464]


The CIA Waterboards KSM at Least 183 Times; KSM's Reporting Includes Significant Fabricated Information


On March 10, 2003, KSM was subjected to the first of his 15 separate waterboarding sessions. The first waterboarding session, which lasted 30 minutes (10 more than anticipated in the Office of Legal Counsel's August 1, 2002, opinion), was followed by the use of a horizontal stress position that had not previously been approved by CIA Headquarters. [NOTE 465] The chief of Base, worried about the legal implications, prohibited the on-site medical officer from reporting on the interrogation directly to OMS outside of official CIA cable traffic [NOTE 466]

On March 12, 2003, KSM provided information on the Heathrow Airport and Canary Wharf plotting. KSM stated that he showed a sketch in his notebook of a building in Canary Wharf (a major business district in London) to Ammar al-Baluchi.' [NOTE 467] He also provided statements about directing prospective pilots to study at flight schools, [NOTE 468] and stated that Jaffar al-Tayyar was involved in the Heathrow Plot." [NOTE 469] KSM retracted all of this information later in his detention." [NOTE 470] There are no CIA records indicating that these and other retractions were assessed to be false.

The March 12, 2003, reporting from KSM on the Heathrow Airport plotting was deemed at the time by CIA interrogators to be an effort by KSM to avoid discussion of plotting inside the United States and thus contributed to the decision to subject KSM to two waterboarding sessions that day. [NOTE 471] During these sessions, KSM ingested a significant amount of water. CIA records state that KSM's "abdomen was somewhat distended and he expressed water when the abdomen was pressed." [NOTE 472] KSM's gastric contents were so diluted by water that the medical officer present was "not concerned about regurgitated gastric acid damaging KSM's esophagus. [NOTE 473] The officer was, however, concerned about water intoxication and dilution of electrolytes and requested that the interrogators use saline in future waterboarding sessions. [NOTE 474] The medical officer later wrote to OMS that KSM was "ingesting and aspiration [sic] a LOT of water," and that "[i]n the new technique we are basically doing a series of near drownings." [NOTE 475] During the day, KSM was also subjected to the attention grasp, insult slap, abdominal slap, and walling." [NOTE 476]

On March 13, 2003, after KSM again denied that al-Qa'ida had operations planned for inside the United States, CIA interrogators decided on a "day of intensive waterboard sessions." [NOTE 477] During the first of three waterboarding sessions that day, interrogators responded to KSM's efforts to breathe during the sessions by holding KSM's lips and directing the water at his mouth." [NOTE 478] According to a cablefrom the detention site, KSM "would begin signaling by pointing upward with his two index fingers as the water pouring approached the established time limit." The cable noted that "[t]his behavior indicates that the subject remains alert and has become familiar with key aspects of the process. [NOTE 479] CIA records state that KSM "yelled and twisted" when he was secured to the waterboard for the second session of the day, but "appeared resigned to tolerating the board and stated he had nothing new to say" about terrorist plots inside the United States." [NOTE 480]

Prior to the third waterboard session of that calendar day, the onsite medical officer raised concerns that the waterboard session—which would be the fourth in 14 hours—would exceed the limits included in draft OMS guidelines that had been distributed the previous aftemoon." [NOTE 481] Those draft guidelines stated that up to three waterboard sessions in a 24-hour period was acceptable. [NOTE 482] At the time, KSM had been subjected to more than 65 applications of water during the four waterboarding sessions between the afternoon of March 12,2003, and the morning of March 13, 2003. In response to a request for approval from the chief of Base, CTC attorney assured detention site personnel that the medical officer "is incorrect that these guidelines have been approved and/or fully coordinated." [NOTE 483] [REDACTED] sent an email to the detention site authorizing the additional waterboarding session. [NOTE 484] Despite indications from [REDACTED] that the detention site personnel would receive a formal authorizing cable, no such authorization from CIA Headquarters was provided. At the end of the day, the medical officer wrote [REDACTED] OMS that "[tjhings are slowly evolving form [sic] OMS being viewed as the institutional conscience and the limiting factor to the ones who are dedicated to maximizing the benefit in a safe manner and keeping everyone's butt out of trouble." The medical officer noted that his communication with [REDACTED] OMS was no longer "viewed with suspicion." [NOTE 485] On the afternoon of March 13, 2003, KSM was subjected to his third waterboard session of that calendar day and fifth in 25 hours. CIA records note that KSM vomited during and after the procedure. [NOTE 486]

Shortly thereafter, CIA Headquarters began reevaluating the use of the waterboard interrogation technique. According to a March 14, 2003, email from an interrogator who was not at DETENTION SITE BLUE, but was reviewing cable traffic, the "[o]verall view seems to be" that the waterboard "is not working in gaining KSM['s] compliance." [NOTE 487] The deputy chief of the CIA interrogation program responded in agreement, adding that "[a]gainst KSM it has proven ineffective," and that "[t]he potential for physical harm is far greater with the waterboard than with the other techniques, bringing into question the issue of risk vs. gain...." The deputy chief further suggested that the waterboard was counterproductive, stating that "[w]e seem to have lost ground" with KSM since progress made at DETENTION SITE COBALT, and as a result, the CIA should "consider the possibility" that the introduction of the waterboard interrogation technique "may poison the well." [NOTE 488] The email in which these sentiments were expressed was sent to the CTC attorney overseeing the interrogation of KSM. Despite these reservations and assessments, the waterboarding of KSM continued for another10 days. [NOTE 489]

On March 15, 2003, KSM was waterboarded for failing to confirm references in signals intercepts on al-Qa'ida's efforts to obtain "nuclear suitcases." [NOTE 490] Subsequent signals intercepts and information from a foreign government would later indicate that the nuclear suitcase threat was an orchestrated scam. [NOTE 491] KSM was waterboarded a second time that day after failing to provide information on operations against the United States or on al-Qa'ida nuclear capabilities." [NOTE 492] During the waterboarding sessions that day, the application of the interrogation technique further evolved, with the interrogators now using their hands to maintain a one-inch deep "pool" of water over KSM's nose and mouth in an effort to make it impossible for KSM to ingest all the water being poured." [NOTE 493] At one point, SWIGERT and DUNBAR waited for KSM to talk before pouring water over his mouth. [NOTE 494]

On the afternoon of March 17, 2003, and into the morning of March 18, 2003, [REDACTED] OMS, exchanged emails with the medical officer at DETENTION SITE BLUE on the waterboarding of KSM. According to the waterboard interrogation technique had "moved even further from theSERE model." [NOTE 495] [REDACTED] also wrote:

"Truthfully, though, I don't recall that the WB [waterboard] produced anything actionable in AZ [Abu Zubaydah] any earlier than another technique might have. This may be different with KSM, but that is still as much a statement of faith as anything else - since we don't seem to study the question as we go... it's been many more days of constant WB repetitions, with the evidence of progress through most of them not being actionable intel but rather that 'he looks like he's weakening.' The WB may actually be the best; just don't like to base it on religion." [NOTE 496]

On March 18, 2003, KSM was confronted with the reporting of Majid Khan, who was then in the custody of a foreign government," [NOTE 497] regarding plotting against gas stations inside the United States, information that KSM had not previously discussed. In assessing the session, DETENTION SITE BLUE personnel noted that "KSM will selectively lie, provide partial truths, and misdirect when he believes he will not be found out and held accountable." On the other hand, they wrote that "KSM appears more inclined to make accurate disclosures when he believes people, emails, or other source material are available to the USG for checking his responses. [NOTE 498]

The same day, KSM provided additional information on the Heathrow Airport plotting, much of which he would recant in 2004." [NOTE 499] KSM also discussed Jaffar al-Tayyar again, prompting the detention site personnel to refer to the "all-purpose" al-Tayyar whom KSM had "woven... into practically every story, each time with a different role." [NOTE 500] After KSM had included al-Tayyar in his discussion of Majid Khan's gas station plot, KSM debriefer [REDACTED] wrote in an email that "[t]oday [al-Tayyar's] working with Majid Khan, yesterday the London crowd, the day before Padilla - you get the point." [NOTE 501] Beginning the evening of March 18, 2003, KSM began a period of sleep deprivation, most of it in the standing position, which would last for seven and a half days, or approximately 180hours. [NOTE 502]

On March 19, 2003, the interrogators at the detention site decided to waterboard KSM due to KSM's inconsistent information about Jaffar al-Tayyar's passport. [NOTE 503] According to CIA cables, after assuming his position on the waterboard, KSM "seemed to lose control" and appeared "somewhat frantic," stating that he "had been forced to lie, and ma[k]e up stories about" Jaffar al-Tayyar because of his interrogators. [NOTE 504] KSM then stated that his reporting on al-Tayyar's role in Majid Khan's plotting was a "complete fabrication" and that al-Tayyar had been compromised as an operative and that as a result, al-Tayyar could not be used for a terrorist operation. [NOTE 505] In response, the interrogators told KSM that they only wanted to hear him speak if he was revealing information on the next attack. [NOTE 506] Deputy Chief of ALEC Station later told the inspector general that it was around this time that contract interrogator DUNBAR stated that "he had not seen a 'resistor' [sic] like KSM, and was 'going to go to school on this guy." [NOTE 507] According to CIA records, the interrogators then "devote[d] all measures to pressuring [KSM] on the single issue of the 'next attack on America,"' including attention grabs, insult slaps, walling, water dousing, and additional waterboard sessions. [NOTE 508]

On March 20, 2003, KSM continued to be subjected to the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques throughout the day, including a period of "intense questioning and walling." [NOTE 509] KSM was described as "[t]ired and sore," with abrasions on his ankles, shins, and wrists, as well as on the back of his head. [NOTE 510] He also suffered from pedal edema resulting from extended standing. [NOTE 511] After having concluded that there was "no further movement" in the interrogation, the detention site personnel hung a picture of KSM's sons in his cell as a way to "[heighten] his imagination concerning where they are, who has them, [and] what is in store for them." [NOTE 512]

The waterboarding of KSM on March 21, 2003, and March 22, 2003, was based on a misreading of intelligence provided by Majid Khan by Deputy Chief of ALEC Station [REDACTED]. According to a cable from the CIA's [REDACTED], Khan, who was in foreign government custody, had stated that KSM wanted to use "two to three unknown Black American Muslim converts who were currently training in Afghanistan," to "conduct attacks" on gas stations in the United States, and that "KSM was interested in using anyone with US status to assist with this operation. [NOTE 513] Upon receipt of this reporting, [REDACTED] wrote in an email "i love the Black American Muslim at AQ camps in Afghanuistan [sic] ... Mukie [KSM] is going to be hatin' life on this one." [NOTE 514] However, her subsequent questioning of KSM was not based on Khan's actual reporting, which was about potential operatives already in Afghanistan, but rather something Khan had not said—that KSM directed him to make contact with African-American converts in the United States. [NOTE 515] According to CIA records, in a "contentious" session that lasted for hours and involved the use of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques, KSM "flatly denied" any efforts to recruit African-American Muslim converts, KSM was then waterboarded. [NOTE 516] Later in the day, facing the threat of a second waterboarding session, KSM "relented and said that maybe he had told Khan that he should see if he could make contact with members of the Black American Muslim convert community." The CIA interrogators then returned KSM to the standing sleep deprivation position without a second waterboarding session. [NOTE 517]

The next day, March 22, 2003, interrogators subjected KSM to "intense" questioning and walling, but when KSM provided no new information on African-American Muslim converts or threats inside the United States, he was subjected to additional waterboarding. [NOTE 518] An hour later, KSM stated that he was "ready to talk." [NOTE 519] He told the CIA interrogators that he had sent Abu Issa al-Britani to Montana to recruit African-American Muslim converts, a mission he said had been prompted by discussions with a London-based shaykh whose bodyguards had families in Montana. [NOTE 520] KSM also stated that he tasked Majid Khan with attending Muslim conferences in the United States to "spot and assess potential extremists" who would assist in the gas stationplot. [NOTE 521] In June 2003, KSM admitted that he fabricated the story about AbuIssa al-Britani and Montana, explaining that he was "under 'enhanced measures' when he made these claims and simply told his interrogators what he thought they wanted to hear." [NOTE 522] In August 2003, KSM reiterated that he had no plans to recruit or use "black American Muslim" converts operationally. [NOTE 523] In December 2005, he denied ever asking Majid Khan to recruit converts or attend Islamic conferences. [NOTE 524]

On March 24, 2003, KSM underwent his fifteenth and final documented waterboarding session due to his "intransigence" in failing to identify suspected Abu Bakr al-Azdi operations in the United States, and for having "lied about poison and biological warfare programs." [NOTE 525] KSM was described in the session as being "composed, stoic, and resigned." [NOTE 526]

That evening, the detention site received two reports. The first recounted the reporting of Majid Khan, who was still in the custody of a foreign govermnent, on Uzhair, who ran the New York branch of his father's Karachi-based import-export business, and on Uzhair's father. [NOTE 527] According to Khan, his meetings with the two were facilitated by Ammar al-Baluchi. [NOTE 528] The second report described the reporting of lyman Paris, who was in FBI custody, on a plot to cut the suspension cables on the Brooklyn Bridge and exploration of plans to derail trains and conduct an attackin Washington, D.C. [NOTE 529] KSM, whom detention site personnel described as "boxed in" by the new reporting, [NOTE 530] then stated that Uzhair's father, Sayf al-Rahman Paracha, had agreed to smuggle explosives into the United States. [NOTE 531] As described elsewhere in this summary, the purported parties to the agreement denied that such an agreement existed.'' [NOTE 532] In confirming Paris's reporting, KSM exhibited what the Interagency Intelligence Committee on Terrorism would later describe as an effort to "stay obvious/general" and "provide little information that might enable the US to thwart attacks. [NOTE 533]

With the exception of sleep deprivation, which continued for one more day, the use of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques against KSM stopped abruptly on March 24, 2003. [NOTE 534] There are no CIA records directing the interrogation team to cease using the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques against KSM, nor any contemporaneous documentation explaining the decision. [NOTE 535]


After the Use ofthe CIA's Enhanced Interrogation Techniques Against KSM Ends, the CIA Continues to Assess That KSM Is Withholding and Fabricating Information


On April 3, 2003, the Interagency Intelligence Committee on Terrorism produced an assessment of KSM's intelligence entitled, "Precious Truths, Surrounded by a Bodyguard of Lies." The assessment concluded that KSM was withholding or lying about terrorist plots and operatives targeting the United States. It also identified contradictions between KSM's reporting on CBRN and other sources. [NOTE 536]

On April 24, 2003, FBI Director Robert Mueller began seeking direct FBI access to KSM in order to better understand CIA reporting indicating threats to U.S. cities. [NOTE 537] Despite personal commitments from DCI Tenet to Director Mueller that access would be forthcoming, the CIA's CTC successfully formulated a CIA position whereby the FBI would not be provided access to KSM until his anticipated transfer to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Neither the CIA nor the FBI knew at the time that the transfer would not occur until September 2006. [NOTE 538]

Between April 2003 and July 2003, KSM frustrated the CIA on a number of fronts. On May 7, 2003, after more than two months of conflicting reporting, ALEC Station concluded that KSM "consistently wavers" on issues of UBL's location, protectors, and hosts, and that his information "conveniently lack[s] sufficient detail [to be] actionable intelligence. [NOTE 539] On June 12, 2003, CIA Headquarters indicated that it "remain[ed] highly suspicious that KSM is withholding, exaggerating, misdirecting, or outright fabricating information on CBRN issues." [NOTE 540] At the end of April 2003, KSM was shown pictures of the recently captured Ammar al-Baluchi and Khallad bin Attash, after which he provided additional information related to their plotting in Karachi. [NOTE 541] ALEC Station wrote in a May 20, 2003, cable that "[w]e consider KSM's long-standing omission of [this] information to be a serious concern, especially as this omission may well have cost American lives had Pakistani authorities not been diligent in following up on unrelated criminal leads that led to the capture of Ammar, bin Attash, and other probable operatives involved in the attack plans." [NOTE 542]

In May and June 2003, Ammar al-Baluchi and Khallad bin Attash provided reporting that contradicted KSM's statements about the Heathrow Airport plotting and included information that KSM had not provided. [NOTE 543] After KSM was confronted with this reporting, Deputy Chief of ALEC Station wrote in an email, "OK, that's it... yet again he lies and ONLY ADMITS details when he knows we know them from someone else. [NOTE 544] On April 19, 2003, KSM was questioned for the first time about summer 2002 reporting from Masran bin Arshad, who was in the custody of a foreign government, regarding the "Second Wave" plot. Informed that bin Arshad had been detained, KSM stated, "I have forgotten about him, he is not in my mind at all." [NOTE 545] In response, ALEC Station noted that it "remain[e]d concerned that KSM's progression towards full debriefing status is not yet apparent where it counts most, in relation to threats to US interests, especially inside CONUS." [NOTE 546] In June 2003, almost three months after the CIA had stopped using its enhanced interrogation techniques against KSM, senior ALEC Station and RDG officers met at least twice to discuss concerns about KSM's lack of cooperation. [NOTE547] As an ALEC Station cable noted at the time,"KSM's pattern of behavior over the past three months, trying to control his environment, lying and then admitting things only when pressed that others have been caught and have likely admitted the plot, is a cause for concem." [NOTE 548] In an email, one CIA officer noted that "what KSM's doing is fairly typical of other detainees... KSM, Khallad [bin Attash], and others are doing what makes sense in their situation - pretend cooperation." [NOTE 549]

In the fall of 2003, after KSM's explanations about how to decrypt phone numbers related to British operative Issa al-Britani (KSM did not identify the operative as "Issa al-Hindi," or by his true name, Dhiren Barot) yielded no results, and after KSM misidentified another individual, known not to be Issa, as Issa, Deputy Chief of ALEC Station [REDACTED] stated in an email that KSM was "obstructing our ability to acquire good information," noting that KSM "misidentifie[s] photos when he knows we are fishing" and "misleads us on telephone numbers. [NOTE 550] Later, after KSM's transfer to DETENTION SITE BLACK [NOT ITS REAL NAME, SEE BELOW], ALEC Station wrote that KSM "may never be fully forthcoming and honest" on the topic of UBL's whereabouts. [NOTE 551] Despite repeated challenges, KSM maintained that he lacked information on UBL's location. [NOTE 552]

KSM was transferred to DETENTION SITE [REDACTED] on [REDACTED], 2005, [NOTE 553] to DETENTION SITE BROWN [NOT ITS REAL NAME, SEE BELOW] on March 2006, [NOTE 554] and to U.S. military detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on September 5, 2006. [NOTE 555] The CIA disseminated 831 intelligence reports from the interrogations of KSM over a period of 3.5 years. While KSM provided more intelligence reporting than any other CIA detainee (nearly 15 percent of all CIA detainee intelligence reporting), CIA records indicate that KSM also received the most intelligence requirements and attention from CIA interrogators, debriefers, analysts, and senior CIA leadership. Further, as noted, a significant amountof the disseminated intelligence reporting from KSM that the CIA identified as important threat reporting was later identified as fabricated. [NOTE 556]

Get original here




  • To read the notes cited above, please consult the full summary of the committee study.
  • DETENTION SITES COBALT, BLUE, BLACK, and BROWN are generally thought to refer to a CIA "black sites" in Afghanistan (The Salt Pit), Poland (Stare Kiejkuty), Romania (ORNISS, Bucharest), and Afghanistan, respectively.