Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Turkish cosmetics company mistakenly puts al-Qaida’s 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's picture on hair-removal ad. Reuters

A Turkish cosmetics company has inadvertently used the image of al-Qaida's 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in its hair-removal advertisement.

A chest-up photograph of the al-Qaida leader was placed next to the caption urging Turkish men to act immediately.

In Turkish, the caption reads, "Waiting won't get rid of that hair" or "The hair will not go away because you keep waiting."

The company has said they have used Mohammed's picture for "his hair, not terrorism".

Mehmet Can Yildiz, a spokesperson for the firm told Hurriyet Daily News: "We didn't know that he was a terrorist. This image is in popular use in Turkish memes on the internet. The guys is quiet hairy, so we thought his body was a good fit for our ad."

The spokesperson added: "Several popular caps [humourously captioned images] were produced with his photo. Most were related to insomnia. 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 al-Qaida mastermind is currently being held in Guantanamo Bay and could face the death penalty if found guilty.