Al Jazeera airs tape said to be of September 11 hijacker

DUBAI - Arab television channel Al Jazeera on Friday aired a new videotape of a man it said was one of the September 11 hijackers, reading his will and saying it was a Muslim duty to fight the "American enemy".

The tape came two days after al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri issued audio and videotapes marking the September 11, 2001 attacks on US cities.

"America is the enemy that every Muslim should fight. There is no way the Arab nation can be saved except through jihad (holy war)," said the speaker, identified as Saeed Alghamdi, wearing military fatigues and an Arab headscarf.

The tape also showed Alghamdi during military exercises in a remote area which Al Jazeera said was in Afghanistan.

He was shown jumping out of a truck and opening fire with an automatic rifle, and training on a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and a heavy machinegun.

Alghamdi was among those who seized control of United Airlines flight 93, which crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after an apparent struggle on board. He had several aliases and may have been Saudi Arabian, but his exact background remains unclear.

The speaker promised more attacks by Muslim fighters against the United States.

"I tell you our battle with you will continue... We will erase the shame (inflicted on Arabs) with our hands and all our force."

"The only solution is for them (Americans) to leave the lands of the Muslims."

In his taped will, dated December 2000, the speaker declared his readiness to die in a suicide attack.

"Martyrdom attacks heal the hearts of Muslims, and have a moral and material impact...These attacks break their (Americans') hearts and destroy their morale," he said.

He criticised Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, for "humiliating clerics" in an apparent reference to arrests of pro-Qaeda preachers in the conservative kingdom.

The tape included an excerpt from an earlier tape attributed to bin Laden in which the speaker praised Alghamdi and other hijackers.

- REUTERS

Herald Feature: The Sept 11 attacks

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