Al-Qaeda suspect confesses to 9/11, Pearl killing 2 hours, 20 minutes ago WASHINGTON (AFP) - Top Al-Qaeda suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has confessed to plotting 31 terror attacks including September 11 and personally beheading US journalist Daniel Pearl, the Pentagon said on Thursday. In a closed-door hearing before a panel of US military officers, the Pakistani national admitted to masterminding terror attacks and plots around the world, according to a partial transcript released by the Pentagon. "I was responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z," Mohammed said in a statement, read by a US military officer at the hearing held at the US camp for "war on terror" suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On Thursday, the Pentagon confirmed that Mohammed also said he had murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, whose videotaped beheading shocked the world in 2002. "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan," Mohammed said in the statement read out at the hearing. "For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head," he said. Mohammed's admission to taking Pearl's life had been deleted from the transcript until the journalist's family had been notified, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. A suspected senior deputy to Osama bin Laden, Mohammed claimed responsibility for an array of other terrorist attacks, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 2002 bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, according to the transcript. He also claimed to have devised attacks in Britain, Singapore and the Panama Canal, and had planned to kill the pope and former US presidents. Mohammed has been kept in controversial circumstances, most of the time in complete secrecy, since his capture in Pakistan in 2003. He has no access to a lawyer and allegations have been made that he was tortured while in US custody. Human Rights Watch called Thursday for the United States to release a separate statement by Mohammed in which he claims to have been tortured while held by the CIA. "It is a glaring misuse of the classification power for the government to classify information simply because it might be embarrassing or unlawful," Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. "Mohammed's claims of torture should be investigated rather than concealed." The White House has declined to comment on Mohammed's statements, saying it did not want to influence any legal proceedings. But asked whether President George W. Bush considered the confession to be credible, spokesman Tony Snow declined to respond "because of concerns about command influence with an ongoing military commission." Mohammed gave the tribunal a long, rambling justification in halting English of his actions as part of a holy war against the United States. "If America they want to invade Iraq they will not send for Saddam roses or kisses. They send for a bombardment ... For sure I am American enemies," he said. "But when you said I'm terrorist, I think it is deceiving peoples. Terrorists, enemy combatant. All these definitions as CIA you can make whatever you want." Mohammed is considered the most important of 14 prime suspects who will appear before the military panels at Guantanamo to determine their "enemy combatant" status after being transferred from CIA custody overseas. "Enemy combatant" status would eventually pave the way for a trial by military tribunal. The lead officer at Saturday's hearing asked Mohammed if any statements he made to interrogators were "as the result of any treatment that you received" after his capture in 2003 until his arrival in Guantanamo in September 2006. "CIA peoples. Yes. At the beginning when they transferred me ..." The rest of the transcript was redacted," Mohammed replied. The treatment and prosecution of "war on terror" suspects has sparked criticism at home and abroad. None of the 14 has had access to a lawyer and are instead represented at the hearings by a military officer. Human Rights Watch also called on the government to halt the status review trials and try Mohammed and others in civilian courts for crimes related to the September 11 attacks.