News

    New Video Shows 9/11 Hijackers Mohammed Atta, Ziad Jarrah at Al-Qaida Meeting

    A video of Osama bin Laden and two 9/11 hijackers obtained by the Sunday Times of London purportedly shows the men in Afghanistan in 2000. Hijackers Ziad Jarrah and Mohammed Atta are seen smiling and speaking to the camera -- the picture of normalcy, says an expert in the psychology of terrorism.

    The video's date stamp of January 8, 2000 cannot be verified, but it seems to have been made before the men shaved their beards in preparation for the September 11, 2001 attacks. Ziad Jarrah's girlfriend later said he shaved his beard in early 2000, more than a year before the attacks.

    The hour-long video has no sound. It includes images of Osama bin Laden speaking in Afghanistan to an audience of about 100 al-Qaida members, some of whom have brought their children with them. It also includes the only known footage of 9/11 hijackers Mohammed Attah and Ziad Jarrah together. The two men are seen joking and laughing as they prepare to read their statements -- apparently their wills -- into the camera.

    The Sunday Times of London said it obtained the video of the hijackers through what it called a "previously used channel." It said sources from al-Qaida and the U.S. confirmed its authenticity, but that lipreaders have not been able to determine what is said on the tape

    Mohammed Atta, the 9/11 ringleader, piloted American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center. Ziad Jarrah is believed to have piloted United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in a field in Pennsylvania without reaching its intended target.

    What's most striking about the video is how seemingly sane and good-humored the two men appear in the video. Jerrold Post, a psychiatrist and professor at George Washington University, says that's because terrorists are psychologically normal.

    “One of the most striking aspects about the psychology of terrorist is that as individuals, this is normal behavior,” Dr. Post said in an interview. “In fact, terrorist groups make it a point to expel, or not to admit, emotionally unstable people. After all, they'd be a security risk. You wouldn't want an emotionally unstable person in the Green Berets; you wouldn't want an emotionally unstable person in a terrorist operation or cell. So, the issue is not individual psychology. The issue is the collective, the group psychology. And as we've come to understand, the terrorists involved in 9/11 had subordinated their individuality to the group. And whatever their destructive, charismatic leader, Osama bin Ladin said was the right thing to do for the sake of the cause was what they would do, even if -- indeed, especially because -- it meant giving up their lives for the cause."

    Jerrold Post said the newly obtained tape shows the two hijackers -- even Mohammed Atta, better known for his cold passport photograph -- as ordinary men, not sociopaths or renegades.

    "We'd like to believe these are crazed fanatics, and some sort of madmen in the grip of a psychosis. Not true,” he said. “This is the norm. Indeed, as I was pursuing a study interviewing in prison incarcerated Middle East terrorists, when we asked, 'What led you to join?' we would get these weird looks. Everybody was joining; it was the weird one who didn't join: 'We all were eager to join, and I am proud of having been able to do this.' So, this is a broad social value, and that really is the struggle here, because we are talking about a situation where, in many ways, the children, the youth of this generation have already been lost. The alienated Islamic youth who find in this cause something that can redeem their sense of shame, that can give them a sense of pride, that can lead them to believe they're doing something quite noble and following the will of God."

    Dr. Post says that the ideology of terrorism has become so entrenched that it will take many years for even the wisest policies to lead to change. "Right now, we have Osama bin Ladin as an almost God-like figure, and people lining up to join the global Islamic Salafi jihad,” he said. “This is not going to turn around overnight. We need to have a sustained policy. In fact, in the West, we cannot do this directly. One of the posing questions is how can we help facilitate moderate Muslim clerics, moderate Muslim political leaders, to be confronting the extremists within their own ranks, who in many ways can be said to have hijacked their religion."

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora