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[] FT 11.09.02: Doubts over latest terror videos,

Financial Times, London
Doubts over latest terror videos

By James Drummond in Cairo

Published: September 11 2002 5:00 | Last Updated: September 11 2002 5:00

Doubts were voiced yesterday about the authenticity of videos broadcast by 
al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based satellite television channel, which appeared to 
confirm that the al-Qaeda terrorist network was responsible for the 
September 11 attacks in the US.

The three videos, broadcast on Monday, showed some of the September 11 
hijackers and one contained what the broadcaster said was the voice of 
Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, claiming direct responsibility for 
the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

If genuine, the video would be the first time that Mr bin Laden has 
directly claimed direct responsibility for any of the bombings. In a tape 
obtained by US forces in Afghanistan last year, Mr bin Laden was heard 
telling followers about "calculations" to hit a tower - which many presumed 
to the World Trade Center - but there was no direct claim of responsibility.

But analysts cited the crude editing of the tapes and the timing of the 
broadcasts as reasons to be suspicious about their authenticity. The 
scepticism was deepened by al-Jazeera's silence yesterday about how it had 
obtained the videos.

Dia Rashwan, an expert on Islamist movements at the Al-Ahram Centre for 
Strategic Studies in Cairo, said: "I have very serious doubts [about the 
authenticity of this tape]. It could have been a script written by the FBI."

The release of the videos again highlights the central role of the 
television station in the continuing propaganda war between the US and 
supporters of Mr bin Laden.

The channel is planning to broadcast an interview this week with two men, 
Khaled Sheikh Muhammed and Ramzi Binalshibh, who are believed to say in the 
film that they were the planners behind the September 11 attacks.

In a filmed interview, the two say they had considered attacking nuclear 
facilities in the US rather than the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Of the videos shown on Monday, one purports to show four of the September 
11 hijackers - Ahmed al-Nami, Hamza and Said al-Ghamidi and Wail al-Shihri 
- studying maps and flight manuals. Al-Jazeera said the footage was shot in 
the southern Afghan city of Kandahar "several months" before the bombings 
last year.

The second tape was said to be the "will" of Abdul Aziz al-Amari, another 
of the bombers, announcing his intention to carry out an attack.

A third showed still photographs of the four teams of hijackers in which, 
against a background of Koranic chanting, an unseen Mr bin Laden hailed the 
men as heroes. Additional reporting by Mark Huband in London

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