Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: Terrorist / Vacuum Cleaner Designer

 Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

What does Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks do for fun? Design vacuum cleaners of course!

The Pakistan (or Kuwait??)-born mechanical engineering graduate was arrested in 2003 and subsequently underwent harsh interrogations in Poland where he was forced to go without sleep and endure all kinds of water-boarding (well, mainly one kind). After the CIA prison in Poland was closed down, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was transferred to a prison in the Romanian capital, Bucharest. It was there that he made a strange request: he wanted permission to design vacuum cleaners.

CIA officials had to check with the head office but in the end they complied with the request – mainly because they wanted him to stay sane in case he ever went to trial. And they had to undo some of the psychological damage inflicted on him from the interrogations (translation: torture).

“We didn’t want them to go nuts,” a former senior CIA official said anonymously.

Apparently re-engineering vacuums keeps people calm. So Khalid Sheikh Mohammed went about designing his vacuum cleaners using online guides and his somewhat limited engineering background. And it appears to have worked! Recent Guantánamo records show that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed appears to be in good health (unlike some of the others who are suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder).

The Romanian detention centre also reportedly provided books for prisoners to read. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is said to have enjoyed the Harry Potter series.

Sadly, the secret CIA prison in Romania was closed in early 2006 and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s life of vacuums and Harry Potter quickly disappeared. Mohammed was transferred later that year to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he remains today awaiting a military trial that will probably never happen.

Via: The Guardian

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