What happened next in the life of a small-time revolutionary after he was given $25 million and was repatriated to the U.S. with a new identity, might make for quite a show:

The hunt for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed involved the entire American intelligence establishment, with its billion-dollar arrays of spy satellites and global eavesdropping net. But his capture came down to a simple text message sent from an informant who had slipped into the bathroom of a house in Rawalpindi, near the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

“I am with K.S.M.,” the message said, according to an intelligence officer briefed on the episode.

The capture team waited a few hours before going in on the night of March 1, 2003, to blur the connection to the informant, a walk-in attracted by the offer of a $25 million reward. The informant, described by one American who met him as “a little guy who looked like a farmer,” would later get a face-to-face thank you from George J. Tenet, then the C.I.A. director, at the American Embassy in Abu Dhabi, intelligence officials say, and he was resettled with his reward money under a new identity in the United States.