CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Jazeera
broadcast Thursday a previously unshown video of the preparations for the
Sept. 11 attacks, in which al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden is seen meeting
with some of the planners in an Afghan mountain camp.
|Osama bin Laden is seen gesturing during a
videotaped statement broadcast on November 3, 2001. Al Jazeera aired
on Thursday a video tape that showed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden
meeting what it said were perpetrators of the September 11 attacks
on U.S. cities, days ahead of the fifth anniversary of the strikes.
The station said that bin Laden also is shown greeting some of the
hijackers , although their
faces were not clear and it was not immediately known which are
The video included the last wills and testaments of hijackers Wail
al-Shehri and Hamza al-Ghamdi.
Thursday's was the fourth in a series of long videos that al-Qaida has
put out to memorialize the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the Pentagon and
World Trade Center, said Ben Venzke, head of IntelCenter, a private U.S.
company that monitors militant message traffic and provides counterterrorism intelligence services for
the American government.
The previous ones were issued in April and September 2002 and September
2003, each showing video from the planning of the suicide hijackings and
farewell statements from some
of the hijackers, Venzke said.
The video shows bin Laden in a dark robe and white headgear , strolling through the camp and
greeting dozens of followers, some masked, and many carrying automatic
weapons. A voice-over narration praises the fighters and refers to the
camp being "on the soil of Kandahar", a city in southern Afghanistan.
The footage shows scenes of
training at the camp. Masked militants perform martial-arts kicks or learn
how to break the hold of someone who grabs them from behind. Several
militants are shown practicing with fold-out knives.
"They produce long videos like these not just for 9/11, but for any
significant events they feel warrant their attention," Venzke said.
One aim is to boost recruitment, but such videos have other purposes -
"to speak to their supporters, to raise
morale within their own group, to facilitate fundraising,
and to serve as a psychological
attack ," he said.
The footage also shows glimpses of daily life in the camp, with men
chopping wood and cutting up vegetables for dinner.