Footage of Sept. 11 planning discovered

By The Associated Press

CAIRO, Egypt – A videotape posted on the Internet late Sunday, purportedly by al-Qaida, showed previously unseen footage of a smiling Osama bin Laden and other commanders in a mountain camp apparently planning the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

The 55-minute documentary-like retrospective of the five years since the attacks was unusually long and sophisticated in its production quality compared to previous al-Qaida videos. The footage, with English subtitles, surfaced on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the attacks on a Web site that frequently airs messages from bin Laden’s terror network.

“Planning for Sept. 11 did not take place behind computer monitors or radar screens, nor inside military command and control centers, but was surrounded with divine protection in an atmosphere brimming with brotherliness … and love for sacrificing life,” an unidentified narrator said.

The tape showed the al-Qaida leader and meeting with colleagues in a mountain camp believed to be in Afghanistan, as well as video clips of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney defending his old job at the oil company Halliburton, and President Bush at his inauguration.

Excerpts of the footage aired on Al-Jazeera television on Thursday, and al-Qaida had said it would later release the full video on the Internet. The video released Sunday was stamped with the emblem of As-Sahab, al-Qaida’s media branch.

The footage of the Sept. 11 attacks included the last testament of two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Wail al-Shehri and Hamza al-Ghamdi, and showed bin Laden strolling in the camp, greeting followers.

“Among the devout group which responded to the order of Allah and order of his messenger were the heroes of Sept. 11, who wrote with the ink of their blood the greatest pages of modern history,” the narrator said, referring to the hijackers who flew planes into the Pentagon and World Trade Center.