Monday, 10 December, 2001
Bin Laden Video
NPR is reporting this morning that US forces have obtained a video tape of Osama Bin Laden discussing the World Trade Center attacks. The big news is that some of his statements strongly indicate that he had advance knowledge of, and perhaps even a hand in, the attacks. Nothing new to us, but perhaps this will convince some doubters. Some officials are calling the tape a "smoking gun."
What I find more interesting, though, is that some of his statements apparently confirm something that I've long suspected: not all of the hijackers knew that they were on a suicide mission. I've said a number of times that only the four who were to pilot the aircraft needed to know that it was a one way trip. The rest could have been told that it was a "standard" hijacking. We have been trying to figure out how 20 people could be convinced to train for and execute a suicide mission, when it's quite possible that only the four pilots were privy to that information--and those for only a brief time (a week or less).