Geneva: The international Red Cross has admitted that it took photos of September 11 attacks mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that have circulated on the Internet.
But a spokeswoman from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that all of the photos had been given to the detainee`s family before they started appearing on the Internet.
The photos show a strikingly different Mohammed from an image distributed after his detention in 2003. The Guantanamo "war on terror" prison camp detainee looks calm, with a half-smile and with a considerable beard.
The new pictures were published early September on Islamist internet websites and quickly circulated.
The spokeswoman said that it is a "regular practice" of ICRC officials to take photos during visits to detention centres. The ICRC is the only organisation that can visit prisoners at Guantanamo.
"These photos are taken to be transmitted to family members, in the same spirit as the Red Cross messages" from prisoners, she explained.
"The ICRC`s visits give those in captivity the occasion to re-establish and maintain their contact with their families" in conformity with the mandate accorded to the organisation by the Geneva Conventions.