Torture Report: Montana Terrorist Story was a Lie

One detainee fabricated a story about trying to recruit black Muslims in Montana

By Dillon Tabish

MISSOULA — Senate report on CIA torture quotes one terrorist as saying he fabricated a story about trying to recruit black Muslims in Montana because he was subjected to “enhanced measures.”

The Missoulian reported Thursday that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed talked about recruiting converts to attack gas stations after he was subjected to simulated drowning or waterboarding in March 2003.

Mohammed, considered the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, at first denied trying to recruit black Muslims in the U.S., the report said. He changed his story after an hours-long interrogation that included waterboarding.

“He told CIA interrogators that he had sent Abu Issa al-Britani to Montana to recruit African-American Muslim converts, a mission he said had been prompted by discussions with a London-based sheikh whose bodyguards had families in Montana,” the report said.

Mohammed also stated he’d told Kahn to attend Muslim conferences in the U.S. to “spot and assess potential extremists” who could help attack gas stations.

In June 2003, Mohammed recanted and said he made up the story because he thought that’s what interrogators wanted to hear.

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report was released Tuesday. It accused the CIA of misleading political leaders about what it was doing and exaggerating the effectiveness of its techniques.

Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer says state officials were never alerted about any potential terrorist threat. He said torture is known to elicit false information.

“If that was credible at all, if anybody believed what he said, the next call should have been made to us. But we heard absolutely nothing,” he said.

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