By Salisu Yusuf
Saturday, September 11, 2021, marks exactly 20 years since the attack on the USA allegedly by a group of Arab Muslims. Forget about conspiracy theories; the 9/11 attack will continue to raise unanswered questions on America’s foreign policy on Muslims and their countries. Issuance of visas and visa bans on some Muslim countries, America’s Green Card, former President Bush’s ‘ you’re with them or with us’ rhetoric reminiscent of the holy war are all glaring issues of stigmatizing of Muslim community for a supposed fault of a few.
The bizarre and mob driven death of former Libyan leader, Muammar Ghaddafi in 2011, Saddam Hussein’s decapitation while being hanged in 2006, America’s attitude towards the deposition of democratic Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the strange death of its leader, Mohammed Morsi, during his trial say a lot about Muslim countries in the eyes of America.
The above actions and inactions strip America naked of all her so-called democratic garments. Today, Libya is rocked, divided and destroyed. Yet, America folds her arms and watches as hundreds of people get killed daily. Setting up Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where hundreds of allegedly Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters and sympathisers were held, tortured is the biggest of human rights abuse. Some were recently released after undergoing a series of traumatic experiences. They could neither be indicted nor tried for lack of evidence. Why were they captured and detained in the first place? Because they’re Muslims, so they should be stereotyped?
America’s occupation of Afghanistan is the biggest mistake of all. Thousands of Afghans, Americans and other nationals are still being killed. Recently, Americans realised their mistake, the cost of the war, and Afghanistan’s ungovernable nature without the Taliban. Thus, they reached out to Qatar, called out a summit between former President Ghani and the Taliban. Earlier, they’d designated Taliban terrorists, then met with the terrorists and handed over Afghanistan to terrorists with a pact that the terrorists must not accommodate any foreign terror group!
The 9/11 attack will continue to be a mystery. Khaled Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), a Kuwaiti national is under America’s custody for 20 years, yet, for 20 years, he could neither be indicted nor tried. An FBI agent called Pellegrino had pursued Khaled for over 3 DECADES in connection with terrorism before the 9/11 tragedy, yet, America couldn’t capture Khaled to avert the 9/11 attack! His lawyer (an American) recently told the BBC that it might take another 20 years to complete the longest trial in history.
Moreover, Pellegrino, the man who had interrogated Khaled, who’s also to serve as a witness, delayed his retirement from the service by 3 years in the hope that Khaled’s MILITARY TRIAL trial at Guantanamo would be completed.
The FBI also linked Khaled in connection with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. In 1995, he was also linked to a plot to blow up multiple international airliners over the Pacific. The question is, are all these allegations mere suspicions and assumptions? If not, come open, try, convict and sentence him as murderers and killers are tried in American courts. According to the BBC, in 2003, Khaled was arrested in Pakistan because the FBI’s Pellegrino had reported him. He’s taken to ‘Black Site’ (is an obscure camp in Pakistan where criminals are tortured) using ‘enhanced interrogation technique.
In Guantanamo and America, Khaled was waterboarded at least 183 times (BBC). Waterboarding is a torture technique where a wet rag is placed in the mouth, pouring water through the rag into the victim’s mouth. As a result, the victim would torturously feel like drowning in a sea. He and hundreds of other prisoners were also subjected to rectal rehydration (a technique where victims are fed through the anus). Other techniques used by the CIA on innocent Muslims include stress position (where a victim may be asked to stand on the ball of his feet for hours), sleep deprivation (where you’re denied sleep).
Khaled’s MILITARY TRIAL that began in 2008 had 8 judges who presided over the case. The recent one is the 9th! Many of the judges resigned over abnormalities in the trial. A trial in New York wasn’t successful, nor were those in Guantanamo. The excuse is that Covid-19 compounded the trial. Poor Covid! Currently, there are over 35,000 pages of previous hearings and motions before the current judge starts presiding over the case. ” It’s the most controversial trial,” says the BBC.
Salisu Yusuf writes from Katsina. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.