Advertisement

Archive for Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Bin Laden video includes hijacker footage

April 16, 2002

Advertisement

— In a posthumous farewell message broadcast Monday on the Arab TV station Al-Jazeera, a man identified as one of the Sept. 11 hijackers said "It is time we kill the Americans in their heartland."

It was the first broadcast of a farewell video attributed to a Sept. 11 hijacker. Another clip from a videotape the station said it recently received shows Osama bin Laden kneeling side by side with a top deputy who proclaimed the terror attacks a "great victory."

In this image taken from video broadcast by the Al-Jazeera
satellite television network, a man who was identified by
Al-Jazeera's editor-in-chief as Ahmed Ibrahim A. Alhaznawi speaks
in an undated video tape. Al-Jazeera editor-in-chief Ibrahim Hilal
said the excerpts presented Monday were from an hour-long video,
complete with narration and graphics, delivered by hand to the
station's Doha, Qatar offices a week ago. Superimposed caption at
bottom center reads, "One of the implementors of the Septebmer
attacks threatens to kill Americans in their homes."

In this image taken from video broadcast by the Al-Jazeera satellite television network, a man who was identified by Al-Jazeera's editor-in-chief as Ahmed Ibrahim A. Alhaznawi speaks in an undated video tape. Al-Jazeera editor-in-chief Ibrahim Hilal said the excerpts presented Monday were from an hour-long video, complete with narration and graphics, delivered by hand to the station's Doha, Qatar offices a week ago. Superimposed caption at bottom center reads, "One of the implementors of the Septebmer attacks threatens to kill Americans in their homes."

It wasn't clear when the tape was made.

Al-Jazeera's editor in chief, Ibrahim Hilal, identified the hijacker as Ahmed Ibrahim A. Alhaznawi one of four hijackers on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. Hilal said the hourlong video, complete with narration and graphics, was delivered by hand to the station's Qatar offices a week ago.

"I can't tell you about when the material was made exactly, but it seems very recent," Hilal said, noting the narrator at one point refers to the March 27-28 Arab League summit as coming up shortly.

A U.S. official, speaking in Washington on condition of anonymity, said the man in the tape is believed to be Alhaznawi.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the bin Laden material appeared to be outdated in the videotape he watched. Rumsfeld was not certain that the tape he was shown was the same taped aired Monday on Al-Jazeera.

"I was advised that what I was watching very likely was using a patchwork of clips from previous periods along with some dialogue of more recent periods," Rumsfeld told a Pentagon briefing, qualifying his remarks as "very preliminary."

Al-Jazeera, which has aired previous bin Laden statements, said it would broadcast the entire tape which apparently includes old comments from bin Laden on Thursday.

The London-based Arab newspaper Al Hayat published excerpts Monday from what it said was a statement from Mullah Mohammed Omar, the fugitive leader of the Taliban militia that provided safe haven to al-Qaida in Afghanistan.

According to Al Hayat, Omar expressed solidarity with the Palestinians in their confrontation with Israel and linked their plight to the U.S.-led war on terror, which some militant Muslims describe as a war on Islam.

The whereabouts of Omar, bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri and other top al-Qaida officials are unknown.

On Monday, Al-Jazeera previewed several segments of its latest bin Laden video, including one in which bin Laden and al-Zawahri kneel side-by-side as al-Zawahri calls the terrorist attacks on America a "great victory."

In the segment with Alhaznawi, the hijacker says, "The time of humiliation and subjugation is over. It is time we kill the Americans in their heartland, among their children, and next to their forces and intelligence," the man identified as the hijacker said.

Al-Jazeera said the information on the tape indicated that the hijacker wrote and recorded his last will and testament in Kandahar, Afghanistan, six months before the Sept. 11 attacks. The station did not elaborate but said the tape was titled The Last Will and Testament "of the New York and Washington Battle Martyrs." The title shot included photos of the 19 hijackers.

Critics of Al-Jazeera, including some in the Bush administration, have called the coverage propagandist and inflammatory.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.