A Turkish company thought they were featuring a picture of a random hairy man in a hair removal product ad, but unbeknownst to them, the image was of one of the masterminds behind the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Epila, a Turkish cosmetics company, featured a picture of a disheveled man in an ad for their hair removal product. Above the photo, the ad reads, “The hair will not go away because you keep waiting!”
As it turns out, the photo used by the company was of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, an Al Qaeda leader who was at the forefront of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in America. Currently, Mohammed is serving time in Guantanamo Bay and the picture used by the ad is easily recognizable, but according to an Epila representative, none of them realized that they were using a picture of a terrorist mastermind.
“We didn’t know that he was a terrorist,” claimed Epila representative Mehmet Can Yildiz, who added that it was in no way meant to be political. “This image is in popular use in Turkish memes on the Internet. The guy is quite hairy, so we thought his body was a good fit for our ad. We didn’t want to imply anything political. We didn’t know that it could become an international story. I repeat: We featured him for his hair, not terrorism.”
The infamous photo of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed used in the ad was taken back in 2003 on the day of his capture.