Top al Qaida leaders interviewed
From the International Desk
Published 9/5/2002 8:24 PM
WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- An Arabic language satellite television station Thursday previewed an interview with two top al Qaida leaders
filmed secretly in Karachi, Pakistan.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh, who served in Osama bin Laden's network, spoke to the al Jazeera news channel from a hidden
location in an interview that the station says will be continued next week.
Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, interviewed the two for its program "Top Secret," after al Qaida operatives brought the interviewer blindfolded to a
Karachi apartment. Mohammed met him at the door and took him down a long hallway to Binalshibh, who was ensconced on the floor of a small
In the second part of the investigative program, the station says the two will speak publicly for the first time about last September's suicide
hijacking attacks on New York and Washington.
Shortly after the attacks, in which four U.S. jetliners were hijacked and crashed into the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center, the
Pentagon and in rural Pennsylvania, U.S. officials charged that bin Laden was the mastermind of the plot that carried out by cells of al Qaida.
Just over 3,000 people died in the attacks.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a Kuwaiti citizen, who is on the FBI's most-wanted list and has a $25 million bounty on his head, undertook a central
planning role in the attacks, according to U.S. officials. In addition, he was indicted in 1996 for allegedly plotting the year before to use
explosives on airliners flying to the United States from Southeast Asia.
Ramzi Binalshibh, according to an indictment from German authorities, was part of a Hamburg-based cell, preparing the hijacking attacks. The
United States sent out a worldwide alert for Binalshibh after they unearthed a videotape of him that U.S. officials said was found in an al Qaida
leader's house in Afghanistan. He purportedly delivered a martyrdom message on that tape. He is also on the FBI's most-wanted list.
Al Jazeera said in advance of the program that the two men in the interview described in detail how al Qaida planned and carried out the attacks
on what they call "Holy Tuesday." The interviews were conducted recently, the station said. It did not specify when, and did not explain how
footage for the program -- including video pictures of the blindfolded interviewer in a car and climbing the staircase to the apartment -- was
In a statement distributed Thursday, al Jazeera said the men interviewed were the head of al Qaida's military committee and the coordinator of
the Sept. 11 operation.
The "Top Secret," program also included interviews with Lyndon LaRouche, the controversial conspiracy theorist and editor of Executive
Intelligence Review, French author Thierry Meyssan, who has penned a book questioning the U.S. government's account of the Sept. 11
attacks, former CIA chief of counter-terrorism operations, Vince Cannistraro, who said he actually saw American Airlines Flight 77 hit the
Pentagon, and the father of Mohammed Atta, who is thought to have been the leader of the 19 hijackers.
Atta's father, an Egyptian lawyer interviewed in Cairo, charged that the United States was behind the disappearance of his son and said the U.S.
government had hatched a conspiracy to blame Muslim fundamentalists for the attacks in New York and Washington.
Thursday's program was monitored in Washington by United Press International. Al Jazeera says the second part will air in one week, on Sept.