- Published on Friday, 12 July 2013 09:06
OSAMA bin Laden’s right-hand man whiled away jail time designing a vacuum cleaner and reading Harry Potter novels, it has been revealed.The CIA let qualified engineer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 49, design the device to stop him going “nuts” in a Romanian basement cell ten years ago, a former senior agency officer has said.
The key surviving 9/11 plotter, now in Guantanamo Bay, also read Potter books — but was once caught hiding a message to fellow terror inmates.
And Mohammed was allowed internet access to help with his vacuum blueprints, the source said.
He is understood to have worked on the plans after being moved to other secret jails in Poland and Hungary.
After he was first captured in Pakistan in 2003, the terror boss was subjected to controversial interrogation techniques in a bid to make him tell all he knew about al-Qaeda.
It has been admitted that he was subjected to waterboarding — simulated drowning — on 183 separate occasions and was once kept awake for 180 hours at a stretch.
But fears of causing permanent mental damage caused the approach to be dropped as the intention was to keep him sane to stand trial for his crimes.
His captors remain unaware of whether or not his request to design a vacuum cleaner hid an ulterior motive, such as concealing secret information.
Mohammed’s lawyer has described his client as “exceptionally intelligent” and clever enough to “patent inventions”.
He has been acknowledged as the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks in the United States when nearly 3,000 people, including 67 Britons, were murdered.
- Simon Hughes / The Sun UK