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 - US using Childeren as leverage and Uses Torture

    U.S. using Childeren as leverage and Uses Torture

    March 4, 2003 -- WASHINGTON - A CIA team will use "all appropriate measures" to convince the just-captured mastermind of the 9/11 attacks to talk - including dangling freedom for his two young sons, who are in U.S. custody.

    Law-enforcement sources told The Post that the CIA has had the 7- and 9-year- old sons of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in custody since September, and plans to use them as leverage to get the No. 3 man in al Qaeda to disclose Osama bin Laden's whereabouts and details of future terror operations.

    Mohammed, arrested Saturday in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, has undergone three days of questioning by the same team of CIA and FBI agents who have handled other high-profile terror war detainees. Sources said the English-speaking Mohammed has refused to cooperate with interrogators - and instead has spent hours in a trance-like state, chanting passages from the Koran.

    Authorities also fear Mohammed will try to kill himself, and have put him on a 24-hour suicide watch at the military base where he's being held overseas. But law-enforcement officials are convinced that he will eventually talk - just as diehard al Qaeda kingpins Abu Zubaydah and Ramzi Binalshibh did under interrogation.

    The United States has made it a practice to take some high-profile terror detainees from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Arab countries like Jordan, Egypt and Morocco for interrogation. "We don't kick the s- - - out of them. Some of our friends do, but we don't do that," said one former counterterrorism official. "These guys are unbelievably cocky. They believe God is on their side. So they believe even though they've been captured, ultimately, they're going to prevail," he said. U.S. officials deny torturing any captives.

    In Mohammed's case, CIA agents plan to use "all appropriate means," including leveraging freedom for his two young boys. Those boys were taken in the same raid last Sept. 11 in Karachi that netted Binalshibh, as well as other members of his family in Kuwait and Pakistan, sources said.

    The CIA and FBI interrogation teams will also try to get him to open up with sleep deprivation. "You bring him in a room and start asking questions. You keep him standing. Then you start building rewards. If you cooperate, if you start talking to us, you get to lie down, you get to take a nap," said former CIA counterterrorism officer Larry Johnson.

    Johnson said he doubts Mohammed will be able to keep his Koran-athon going very long under that kind of pressure.


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