Ali Soufan, a former FBI interrogator, revealed in an article being released in June that Osama Bin Laden's bodyguard opened up about the 9/11 terror attacks only after being offered -- sugar free cookies.Cookies, not torture, convinced al Qaeda suspect to talk, FBI interrogator says (Thanks, Mark!)
Bin Laden lieutenant Abu Jandal is a diabetic, Soufan said, and wouldn't eat sugar cookies he'd been offered.
"Soufan noticed that he didn't touch any of the cookies that had been served with tea: 'He was a diabetic and couldn't eat anything with sugar in it,' Time's Bobby Ghosh wrote. "At their next meeting, the Americans brought him some sugar-free cookies, a gesture that took the edge off Abu Jandal's angry demeanor.
"We had showed him respect, and we had done this nice thing for him," Soufan told Ghosh. "So he started talking to us instead of giving us lectures..."
"It took more questioning, and some interrogators' sleight of hand, before the Yemeni gave up a wealth of information about al-Qaeda -- including the identities of seven of the 9/11 bombers -- but the cookies were the turning point," Ghosh writes.
"After that, he could no longer think of us as evil Americans," Soufan said. "Now he was thinking of us as human beings."
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.