Sunday, October 01, 2006

New video shows 9/11 hijackers in Afghanistan

New video shows 9/11 hijackers in Afghanistan

LONDON (Reuters) - A new video tape has emerged which shows two of the September 11 hijackers, including ringleader Mohammed Atta, at a hideout of Osama bin Laden's in Afghanistan, Britain's Sunday Times newspaper reported.

The paper said it had obtained a copy of the video through "a previously tested channel", without giving details.

It said U.S. and al Qaeda sources had verified the authenticity of the tape, which it said would be available on its Web site from noon (1100 GMT) on Sunday.

The paper said the video showed Egyptian-born Atta alongside another of the hijackers, Lebanese Ziad Jarrah.

Jarrah piloted United Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

The two men are seen laughing and joking and then apparently reading their wills to camera. There is no sound on the tape and lip-readers have failed to decipher their words, the paper said.

The Sunday Times said the footage, dated January 18, 2000, was the first to show Atta and Jarrah together, and helped fill in a gap in the chronology of Atta's life.

Until now, investigators had not known where he had been in early 2000, but the tape shows he was in Afghanistan at bin Laden's Tarnak Farm hideout, the paper said.

The footage also shows bin Laden addressing a crowd of around 100 al Qaeda members on January 8, 2000 -- 10 days before the footage of the hijackers.

Many similar video tapes have surfaced on Web sites used by Islamist militant groups since the September 11 attacks, lots of them showing the al Qaeda leader in person.

At least 36 messages have been broadcast since Arabic television station Al Jazeera aired the first statement by bin Laden in 2001.

Bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri are believed to be hiding in the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan.