Earlier this week, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the former al-Qaeda leader and "principal architect" of the September 11th attacks, came back into the news in a fashion that defies the most basic ethics of reason.

As many outlets reported, a Turkish cosmetics company came under fire after it used the image of Mohammed, currently in residence at Guantanamo, in an ad for a hair removal product.

"Waiting won’t get rid of that hair!" the copy read.

The company later issued something of an apology saying that they didn't know Mohammed was a terrorist and that image had been chosen "for his hair, not terrorism."

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The infamous image of Mohammed, one of the only pictures of him, was taken after his 2003 arrest in Pakistan. In it, there appears a beleaguered-looking man with, yes, a surfeit of body hair. And, it is also a man who looks more than a little bit like adult film legend Ron Jeremy, an often remarked-upon resemblance.

The first and only time I met Ron Jeremy was at an event for the release of his autobiography The Hardest (Working) Man in Hollywood that coincided with my brief post-college stint in book publishing. At the time, it didn't really dawn on me just how much Jeremy resembled a notorious terrorist, in part because he is an extremely charming person. In addition to starring in over 2,000 pornographic films (a Guinness world record), Jeremy is also a classically trained pianist, has a master's degree in special education, and is a gifted raconteur.

But with this latest spate of KSM news in mind, I decided to reach out to him. In hindsight, I should have worded the email to his manager a little bit more carefully. I mentioned that I was a writer with The Atlantic and that I wanted to know if anyone had ever mentioned Jeremy and Mohammed's doppelgängerdom and if I could talk to Jeremy about it. At the bottom of the e-mail, I attached the infamous picture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

A few hours later, I heard back from Jeremy's agent:

Thanks and do they or you want him to play the part?

There are a rare few moments in life when the universe explicitly reveals an unexpected path.

Well, first, I sat with the e-mail for a while wondering just how Ron Jeremy's manager had so capriciously responded in approval of the idea of a porno about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. (I had specifically IDed Mohammed as the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks in my e-mail.) Had Ron Jeremy's manager really seen it all? Or maybe this was more about society⎯the wayward allure of the forbidden or despicable. I didn't know.

After the initial shock wore off, I found myself very ambivalently thinking about the project I'd undertaken. Could this be a vehicle to explain...no. Maybe if I focused on....no. I didn't get very far.

The next morning I wrote Jeremy's manager back and clarified that I was just a journalist and reiterated that the interview would be for a story. I still haven't heard back.

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