The mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans said George W. Bush’s tenacity prevented al-Qaeda from launching another wave of attacks.
In a new memoir by James E. Mitchell, the man who developed enhanced interrogation techniques the CIA used to glean information from terrorists under then-president Bush, Mitchell divulges the details of his conversations with Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM), the mastermind behind 9/11.
The book, entitled “Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying To Destroy America,” offers a “first-person account of the EIT program” where Mitchell takes the reader “inside the secretive ‘black sites’ and cells of terrorists and terror suspects where he personally applied enhanced interrogation techniques.”
The Washington Post‘s Mark A. Thiessen writes that Bush’s decision to hunt down those responsible for the attack stunned terror cells into not launching another large-scale attack, according to Mitchell’s book.
Far from trying to draw us in, KSM said that al-Qaeda expected the United States to respond to 9/11 as we had the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut — when, KSM told Mitchell, the United States ‘turned tail and ran.’
‘Then he looked at me and said, ‘How was I supposed to know that cowboy George Bush would announce he wanted us ‘dead or alive’ and then invade Afghanistan to hunt us down?’’ Mitchell writes. ‘KSM explained that if the United States had treated 9/11 like a law enforcement matter, he would have had time to launch a second wave of attacks.’ He was not able to do so because al-Qaeda was stunned ‘by the ferocity and swiftness of George W. Bush’s response.’
Further in Thiessen’s book review, he writes that KSM said jihadi-sympathizers will begin to immigrate to the United States and carry out small-scale attacks until Americans become weary and simply give up.
KSM explained that large-scale attacks such as 9/11 were ‘nice, but not necessary’ and that a series of ‘low-tech attacks could bring down America the same way ‘enough disease-infected fleas can fell an elephant.’ ’ KSM ‘said jihadi-minded brothers would immigrate into the United States’ and ‘wrap themselves in America’s rights and laws’ until they were strong enough to rise up and attack us. ‘He said the brothers would relentlessly continue their attacks and the American people would eventually become so tired, so frightened, and so weary of war that they would just want it to end.’ ‘Eventually,’ KSM said, ‘America will expose her neck for us to slaughter.’
KSM’s words seem almost prophetic, as there has been a significant uptick in the number of lone-wolf terrorist attacks carried out by jihadi sympathizers or self-proclaimed ISIS fighters.
“America may not be in a religious war with him, but he and other True Muslims are in a religious war with America,” KSM said. “He and his brothers will not stop until the entire world lives under Sharia law.”