DUBAI - The Arabic Al-Jazeera satellite television channel said today it had received a videotape which apparently showed some of the September 11 suicide hijackers studying flight manuals.
"Jazeera has recently obtained what seems to be a tape prepared by al Qaeda on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks showing some of the perpetrators of the... attacks carrying out technical training on controlling aircraft," the Qatar-based channel said in a news bulletin.
Washington has blamed the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington on Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network. More than 3000 people died in the attacks with hijacked airliners.
Jazeera showed footage of a map with a hand pointing at the Pentagon and people studying flight manuals without showing their faces. It separately showed men wearing south Asian clothing and identified them as four of the hijackers of the aircraft used in the attacks.
However, none of the men mentioned by Jazeera was among the hijackers that US officials said were aboard American Airlines Flight 77, the plane which destroyed part of the Pentagon on September 11.
Two other hijacked planes smashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York and a fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.
Another portion of the tape carried what Jazeera said was the will a fifth hijacker, Abdul Aziz al-Omari, saying: "This is a message to America to make it leave...and stop supporting Israel."
The alleged hijacker also praised bin Laden while thanking people who supported and trained him.
"Learn (America) that we can topple you along with the other big enemies," the tape shows the man identified as Omari as saying.
"This is a message to all infidels and to America.... We shall keep seeking to humiliate you so long as the book of God (Koran) and the teachings of our master (Prophet) Mohammad are between our hands or until we die," he said.
The man identified as Omari said he was "delighted" as he recorded his last message and described the attacks as "a glorious act".
The channel said the tape had been recorded in Kandahar, Afghanistan, but it did not say when or how it was obtained.
Jazeera identified the four men who appeared in the alleged training portion of the tape as Ahmed Alnami, Hamza Alghamdi, Ahmed Alghamdi and Wail Alshehri.
All the names appear on the list of hijackers compiled by US investigators after the September 11 attacks.
The tape showed the faces of three men sitting on the floor of a room with another man wearing glasses and covering his face with his hand in what appeared to be an attempt to avoid recognition.
The tape also included a voice-over by a man Jazeera identified as bin Laden naming the hijackers and praising them. The same remarks came in a videotaped statement by bin Laden aired earlier this year.
Jazeera, noted for broadcasting several of bin Laden's videotaped statements, said the tape was recorded before the hijackers left for the United States to carry out the attacks. It did not elaborate.
A Jazeera journalist said on Sunday that two key al Qaeda members had told him in an interview that an initial plan for the September 11 attacks had been to target nuclear power plants in the United States. The plotters also told him that bin Laden was personally involved in planning the attacks.
The first part of the journalist's documentary was aired on Jazeera last Thursday but did not include those interviews. The second part of the documentary, which Jazeera said would include that material, is to be aired this Thursday.
Links: Terror in America - the Sept 11 attacks
Timeline: Major events since the Sept 11 attacks