Skip to comments.Documents prepared hijackers for mission
Posted on 09/28/2001 8:31:38 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
JS Online: Hijackers Said to Carry Spiritual Book www.jsonline.com Return to regular view
Original URL: http://www.jsonline.com/news/attack/sep01/hijackers-mission92801.asp
Washington - Terrorists involved in the Sept. 11 hijackings left behind copies of a document in Arabic giving them step-by-step instructions for their suicide mission and preparing them spiritually for death, a law enforcement official said Friday.
A copy of the document was found in luggage left behind by Mohamed Atta, suspected of organizing the attacks and flying into one of the World Trade Center towers, said the official.
Another was found in the wreckage of a United Airlines jet that crashed in rural Pennsylvania and a third in another hijacker's car, the official said.
The document contained a mission checklist and instructions for mental and spiritual preparation, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official was unable to provide further details.
Published accounts characterized the document as a haunting mission guide that urged the hijackers to smile at their taxicab driver, "crave death" and "make sure no one is following you."
The documents provide the most jarring insight yet into the mindset of the 19 men who boarded the four planes. Two of the jets crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and one in Pennsylvania.
The texts starkly address fear on the eve of their suicide mission.
"Everybody hates death, fears death," according to a translation of highlights of the document obtained by The Washington Post, which reported that the book was found in Atta's luggage.
"But only those, the believers who know the life after death and the reward after death, would be the ones who will be seeking death."
The manual found in Pennsylvania contained directives on what actions, thoughts and prayers should be undertaken in the final hours, according to The Dallas Morning News.
The document instructs a follower, on the day of the attack, to "check your weapon," say morning prayers together, and, "If you take a taxi to the airport, when you arrive ... smile and rest assured, for Allah is with the believers and the angels are protecting you."
The follower is told to pray as he sets foot on the plane and again as he takes his seat, remembering "It is a raid for Allah."
The book also contained this passage for comfort: "When the time of truth comes and zero hour arrives, then straighten out your clothes, open your chest and welcome death for the sake of Allah. Seconds before the target, your last words should be 'There is no God but Allah. Mohammed is his messenger."'
The first four pages of both documents are handwritten on large paper and recite some basic Islamic history about the prophet fighting infidels with 100 men against 1,000, the Post said. They also include prayers such as, "I pray to you God to forgive me from all my sins, to allow me to glorify you in every possible way."
Page 1 (full view)
Copies of the four-page handwritten letter left behind by the hijackers of the Sept. 11 attacks on the
World Trade Center and Pentagon and their relation to three of the alleged hijackers are seen in this
poster displayed by the Justice Department during a news conference in Washington Friday, Sept. 28, 2001. (AP Photo/Hillery Smith Garrison)
Saturday, September 29 5:44 AM SGT
A letter found in the luggage of one of the 19 hijackers responsible for the September 11 attacks is "a disturbing and shocking view" of the terror mindset that prompted them, US Attorney General John Ashcroft said Friday.
"Remind yourself that in this night you will face many challenges. But you have to face them and understand it 100 percent" read the letter, a painstaking retelling of prayers and exhortations of caution that at this stage is the only testimony left by any of the suspects in the attacks that killed more than 6,000 others.
"It is a disturbing and shocking view into the mindset of these terrorists," Ashcroft told reporters of the four-page missive found in the bag of Mohammed Atta, suspected by US authorities as key to the attacks and responsible for the crash of American Airlines flight 11 into the World Trade Center's north tower.
Copies of the letter, handwritten in Arabic, were also found in a vehicle left at Dulles airport outside of Washington used by Nawaf Al-Hazmi, one of those suspected in the hijacking of the plane that hit the Pentagon, Ashcroft said, and at the crash site in Pennsylvania where a fourth plane went down.
More than 6,000 people are dead or missing in the attacks by the four hijacked planes.
"These three documents -- this letter is clear evidence linking the hijackers on the three separate flights on September 11," Ashcroft said.
"While this letter contains a number of religious references, I do not believe it to be representative of Muslims or the Islamic faith," he added. "The letter is a stark reminder of how these hijackers grossly perverted the Islamic faith to justify their terrorist acts."
The letter is packed full of prayers, reminders and instructions for the would-be hijackers.
"Check all of your items ... your bag, your clothes, knives, your will, your IDs, your passport, all your papers ... Make sure that nobody is following you," it said.
One page, headed "When you enter the plane," is an operational mission checklist, entailing such details as "make sure that you are clean, your clothes are clean, including your shoes."
"Oh God, open all doors for me. Oh God who answers prayers and answers those who ask you, I am asking you for your help. I am asking you for forgiveness. I am asking you to lighten my way. I am asking you to lift the burden I feel," the letter instructed the hijackers to say as they prepared for their final voyages.
"Obey God, his messenger, and don't fight among yourself where you become weak, and stand fast, God will stand with those who stood fast."
A section of the letter headlined "The last night," opens with a reminder addressed to the hijackers of the task facing the militants but exhorts them to steel themselves to what lies ahead.
"Remember the battle of the prophet . . . against the infidels, as he went on building the Islamic state," the letter urged, perhaps recalling the prophet Mohamed's battle against the Meccans, who refuted the validity of his message and sought to destroy him.
"Keep a very open mind, keep a very open heart of what you are to face. You will be entering paradise. You will be entering the happiest life, everlasting life," the letter told its readers.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has not yet determined who wrote the letter, but Islam specialist Mary-Jane Deeb told AFP it was likely the product of the leader of an Islamist cell.
"It is likely it was inspired by any one of the number of clerics surrounding Osama bin Laden," suspected by the United States to be the mastermind of the attacks.
"The terrorists, inspired by the clerics, have a false concept of what a martyr is -- its someone who battles when Islam is under attack by the west, which is not the case here. It's never a kamikaze," she added.
"Everybody hates death, fears death. But only those, the believers who know the life after death and the reward of life after death would be the ones who will be seeking death," the letter read.Saturday, September 29 6:54 AM SGT
Following are excerpts, translated from Arabic, from a letter found in the luggage of one of the 19 hijackers responsible for the September 11 attacks and in the possessions of two other suspected hijackers:
"Remind yourself that in this night you will face many challenges. But you have to face them and understand it 100 percent," read the letter.
"The previous night, shave the extra hair from the body. Pray.
"Familiarize yourself with the plan in every aspect. Read the Al-Taubah chapter (of the Koran). Think of what al-Taubah has prepared for you in paradise.
"Purify your head. Cleanse it from dross ... Be cheerful, for you have only moments between you and your eternity, after which a happy and satisfying life begins.
"Check all of your items ... your bag, your clothes, knives, your will, your IDs, your passport, all your papers ... Make sure that nobody is following you ... This is the custom of the good predecessors. Allah blessed them, for they tightened their clothes before battle. Also tighten your shoes well and wear tight stocks so they will not come out of the shoes. Perform the morning prayer in a group.
"If you take a taxi ... when you arrive in the A and get off of the taxi, smile and rest assured for Allah is with the believers and the angels are protecting you.
"When you aboard the P or place your foot, before you enter it recite the prayers and remember: it is a raid for the sake of Allah. Recite the prayer. As you take the seat, recite the prayer. Mention Allah a lot.
"Pray that you and all your brothers to conquer, win without fear ... Ask Allah to bless you with martyrdom. Each one of you should be prepared to do his best in playing his part to Allah's satisfaction.
"When the storming begins, strike the striking of heroes who determined not to go back into the world. When you strike, shout Allah is great because this shout strikes terrors in the hearts of the infidels. He said, 'strike above their necks' ... The nymphs are calling out to you, come over here, companion of Allah.
"When the time of truth comes and zero hour arrives, then straighten out your clothes, open your chest and welcome death for the sake of Allah.
"Remember the battle of the prophet ... against the infidels, as he went on building the Islamic state.
"Keep a very open mind, keep a very open heart of what you are to face. You will be entering paradise. You will be entering the happiest life, everlasting life.
"Seconds before the target, your last words should be there is no God but Allah. Mohammed is his messenger."
On the other hand, I have not yet seen a statement in any report that the three copies were identical. I suppose it's possible that whoever wrote the document wrote separate copies for every recipient, instead of copying one original on a copying machine, and then the different copies might have different pagination.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.