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Alleged Architect Of 9/11 Confesses To Many Attacks
Mohammed described several other plots that never came about, such as attacks on buildings in California, Chicago and Washington state, and on the New York Stock Exchange.
Despite his statements, it is unclear how much involvement he could have had in the 31 separate attacks he listed. The Sept. 11 commission described Mohammed as a flamboyant operative who developed grandiose plans for attacks even as other al-Qaeda leaders urged him to focus on the Sept. 11 plot.
One of those plans revealed Mohammed as captivated by "a spectacle of destruction with KSM as the self-cast star -- the superterrorist," the commission wrote.
Mohammed contended that he and al-Qaeda are not terrorists, but are in engaged in a long struggle against U.S. oppression in the Middle East. He apologizes for killing children in the Sept. 11 attacks.
"Because war, for sure, there will be victims," he said. "When I said I'm not happy that 3,000 been killed in America. I feel sorry even. I don't like to kill children and the kids."
Mohammed likened al-Qaeda's quest to Colonial America's struggles in the of America's Revolutionary War, drawing parallels between Laden and George Washington.
"So when we made any war against America, we are jackals fighting in the nights," he said, adding later that had Washington been arrested by the British, he, too, would have been considered an enemy combatant.
"As consider George Washington as hero, Muslims many of them are considering Osama bin Laden. He is doing same thing. He is just fighting. He needs his independence."
Mohammed said he wants to make a "great awakening" to force the United States to stop foreign policy "in our land."
He urged the U.S. military to release numerous detainees who were captured in Afghanistan and are now at Guantanamo, saying that many were wrongly swept up. At one point, he contended that a group of men sent to assassinate bin Laden and captured by al-Qaeda were later taken prisoner by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Bruce Hoffman, a professor of security studies at Georgetown University, said Mohammed sees himself as a "reluctant warrior and justified" in his actions, as many other terrorists have characterized themselves.
Staff writer Ann Scott Tyson and staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.