According to different sources, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was born and brought up in Kuwait City, Kuwait, on March 1, 1964, or April 14, 1965, to parents who had roots in Balochistan, a province of Pakistan bordering Iran and Afghanistan. He grew up and spent some of his formative years in Kuwait, just like his nephew, Ramzi Yousef (three years his junior). He joined the Muslim Brotherhood there at age sixteen. He returned to Pakistan soon after, and after spending some time there, went to the United States for further study.
He completed a degree in mechanical engineering at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in 1986.The following year he went to Afghanistan, where he and his brothers (Zahed, Abed, and Aref) fought against the Soviet Union during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (some sources claim that Khalid was fighting in Afghanistan before he moved to the United States). There, he was introduced to Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, of the Islamic Union Party. The 9/11 Commission Report notes on page 149 that "Sayyaf part of the Afghan Northern Alliance".
The 9/11 Commission Report also notes that, "By his own account, KSM's animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel."
However, according to a U.S. intelligence summary reported on August 29, 2009, by The Washington Post, his time in the U.S did lead him to become a terrorist. "KSM's limited and negative experience in the United States — which included a brief jail stay because of unpaid bills — almost certainly helped propel him on his path to becoming a terrorist," according to this intelligence summary. "He stated that his contact with Americans, while minimal, confirmed his view that the United States was a debauched and racist country."
According to the 9/11 Commission, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed after the Afghan jihad went to work for an electronics company, working on communications equipment. In 1988, he helped to head a non-governmental organization paid for by Abu Sayyaf, which sponsored and aided Afghan fighters against the Soviets. He continued this work until 1992, when he fought with Muslim fighters in Bosnia and Herzegovina and supported this effort financially. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed moved to Qatar to work in a government office as a project engineer for the Qatari Ministry of Electricity and Water. He stayed at this job until 1996.
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