Originally created 03/04/03

One big loser



He'll never be as infamous as Osama bin Laden. But as the alleged architect of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's name should live in infamy. And his arrest last weekend in Pakistan should be heralded as a milestone victory in the war on terror.

Even his ties to Sept. 11 understate this man's alleged role in terrorism. Authorities say his fingerprints have been on just about every major attack on U.S. interests in recent years - and we can only hope interrogators are downloading information, in any way they can, on attacks to come.

His arrest may even open the floodgates that lead to other big catches upstream, including bin Laden.

The capture also should give pause to chronic critics of the war on terror who wrongly presume we can't fight the war on more than one front - or who assume nothing is going on simply because they don't hear it or see it.

This war - heavy on intelligence, wholly dependent on stealth, patience and resoluteness - is unlike any we've fought. It's guerrilla warfare for the 21st century.

And, in more ways than one, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is one big loser.