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9/11 Terrorist Mastermind Dyes Beard with Berries and Juice

The mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks dyes his beard using fruit juice and crushed berries, the Pentagon announced.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 10/25/2012, 1:38 PM

Artist's stretch of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Artist's stretch of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Reuters

The mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks dyes his beard using fruit juice and crushed berries, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was regarded as one of Osama bin Laden's most trusted lieutenants, presumably used hair dye in the past to obtain his beard's reddish color.

However, spectators remained perplexed as to how he has managed to maintain his beard’s color during years of detention, as prisoners are prohibited from receiving hair dyes because they consist of chemicals that could be used as a weapon.

A Pentagon spokesman told AFP that the secret is in the fruits and juices served from time to time at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba where he is detained.

"He does use various berries and juices available on occasion at meals, available to the detainees," said Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale, a Pentagon spokesman. "I do not know which berries or juices he prefers, nor the exact manner in which he concocts this harmless, non-toxic means to color his facial hair."

Breasseale said the information about the accused terrorist's regimen was provided by military authorities within the Joint Task Force charged with maintaining the military facility at Guantanamo.

"He has been doing this for the last few months," the spokesman said, according to AFP.

Breasseale said Mohammed's creative use of the food items did not break any known rules at the detention facility.

"We view this allowance as a reasonable consideration that comports with both health and cultural norms," he said.

Mohammed, who appeared last week for a pretrial hearing at Guantanamo, is accused of orchestrating the September 11, 2001 hijacked airliner plot that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Four alleged Al-Qaeda accomplices are charged with providing funding and other support for those who crashed the planes. All five face the death penalty if convicted.