September 11 Hijacker Shown in Video Tape

CAIRO, Egypt?In a farewell message broadcast Monday on the Arab TV station Al Jazeera, a man identified as one of the Sept. 11 hijackers said, “It is time we kill the Americans in their heartland.”

It was the first broadcast of a farewell video attributed to a Sept. 11 hijacker. Another clip from a videotape the station said it recently received shows Osama bin Laden kneeling side by side with a top deputy who proclaimed the terror attacks a “great victory.”

It wasn’t clear when the tape was made but the appearance of an apparent hijacker in one segment indicated parts were filmed before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Al-Jazeera’s editor in chief, Ibrahim Hilal, identified the hijacker as Ahmed Ibrahim A. Alhaznawi?one of four hijackers on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. Hilal said the hourlong video, complete with narration and graphics, was delivered by hand to the station’s Qatar offices a week ago.

“I can’t tell you about when the material was made exactly, but it seems very recent,” Hilal said, noting the narrator at one point refers to the March 27-28 Arab League summit as coming up shortly.

A U.S. official, speaking in Washington on condition of anonymity, said the man in the tape is believed to be Alhaznawi.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the bin Laden material appeared to be outdated in the videotape he watched. Rumsfeld was not certain that the tape was shown was the same taped aired on Al-Jazeera on Monday.

“I was advised that what I was watching very likely was using a patchwork of clips from previous periods along with some dialogue of more recent periods,” Rumsfeld told a Pentagon briefing, qualifying his remarks as “very preliminary.”

Al-Jazeera, which has aired previous bin Laden statements, said it would broadcast the entire tape?which apparently includes old comments from bin Laden?on Thursday.

The London-based Arab newspaper Al Hayat published excerpts Monday from what it said was a statement from Mullah Mohammed Omar, the fugitive leader of the Taliban militia that provided safe haven to al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

According to Al Hayat, Omar expressed solidarity with the Palestinians in their confrontation with Israel and linked their plight to the U.S. led war on terror, which some militant Muslims describe as a war on Islam.

The whereabouts of Omar, bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri and other top al Qaeda officials are unknown.

On Monday, Al-Jazeera previewed several segments of its latest bin Laden video, including one in which bin Laden and al-Zawahri kneel side-by side as al-Zawahri calls the terrorist attacks on America a “great victory.”

Al-Jazeera also aired a segment of a man, identified on the video as a Sept. 11 hijacker, speaking to the camera in a style similar to videotapes made by Palestinian suicide bombers before attacks.

“The time of humiliation and subjugation is over. It is time we kill the Americans in their heartland, among their children, and next to their forces and intelligence,” the man identified as the hijacker said.

Al-Jazeera said the information on the tape indicated that the hijacker wrote and recorded his last will and testament in Kandahar, Afghanistan, six months before the Sept. 11 attacks. The station did not elaborate but said the tape was titled The Last Will and Testament “of the New York and Washington Battle Martyrs.” The title shot included photos of the 19 hijackers.

Al-Jazeera is a 24-hour station owned by Qatar’s government.