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01 March 2003

U.S. Commends Detention of Mastermind Behind Sept. 11 Attacks

(White House on detention of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed) (250)


The White House issued a statement March 1 commending Pakistani and
U.S. authorities on the completion of a successful joint operation
that has resulted in the detention of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the
mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 attacks, and several other Al
Qaida operatives.


Following is the text of the statement:

(begin text)


THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release  March 1, 2003

STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY


Detention of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed


The United States commends Pakistani and U.S. authorities on the
completion of a successful joint operation which resulted in the
detention of several Al Qaida operatives, including Khalid Shaikh
Mohammed.


Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is one of Usama Bin Laden's most senior and
significant lieutenants, a key Al Qaida planner and the mastermind of
the September 11th attacks. He is known to have been centrally
involved in plotting by Al Qaida terrorists since September 11th, 2001
-- including plots to launch attacks within the United States.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists,
and has been under U.S. indictment since 1996 for the Manila air
conspiracy, a plot to bomb a series of U.S. civilian airliners.

(end text)


(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)