The Washington Post

Terrorists can’t read enough about themselves

A guard tower at the Guantanamo prison. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Ramzi Binalshibh, a Yemeni who is accused of having helped and wanting to join the 9/11 terrorists — but was denied a visa four times — isn’t into snuggling up with what the others ensconced in Guantanamo Bay favored.

As we noted in August, the most popular items borrowed from the prison library were early episodes of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” sitcom, which had replaced the Harry Potter book series as the most-requested items by detainees at the Guantanamo Bay library.

Binalshibh, however, prefers somewhat darker fare.

At the military trial in Gitmo of the 9/11 conspirators, we find Binalshibh, who reportedly had spoken of his role in the attacks with an Al Jazeera reporter, had in his cell two volumes of the 9/11 Commission Report, and the books “The Black Banners” and “Perfect Soldiers,” according to the Brookings Institution’s Lawfare Blog.

“The Black Banners” — styled as “The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda” — is the 2011 memoir by former FBI agent Ali H. Soufan. Binalshibh is oft-mentioned in the book, which apparently is prohibited in the prison.

The second book, Terry McDermott’s “Perfect Soldiers: The Hijackers: Who They were, Why They Did It,” is all about Binalshibh and his pals

Probably bookmarked the references to his own alleged activities.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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