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Translation of the hijacker letter 
by Hatem Bazian, lecturer who teaches Islamic Studies at UC Berkeley

[Photos below]


terrorist letter image

One of the companions said "the prophet has commanded us to recite it before engaging in a raid. So we recited it so we became victorious and we were saved.

The Last Night

1. To give allegiance or agree on going forth to death and the renewal of the intention.

2. Knowing the plan very well. All the directions and expectation of the outcome of the action or the resistance from the enemy. To shave the excess hair from the body and to put perfume.

3. The recitation of chapter of Altawba (repentence) and Alnfal. To reflect upon their meanings and that which God had prepared to the believers from the everlasting bounty that are designated for the martyrs.

4. Reminding the self of listening and obeying particularly during that night because you are going to face a serious situation where it is very necessary for listening and obeying 100 percent. Train yourself and make it understand and be content and encourage it on that.(listening and obeying)

5. Praying during the late night and insisting in supplication and asking for victory and gaining control and a clear conquest and making all things easy for us and conceal our activities.

6. Much remembrance and know that the best of remembrance is the recitation of the nobel Koran and this is in accordance with the consensus of the people of knowledge from that which I know and this is sufficient for us that it is the speech of the creator of the heavens and earth the one which you are going to meet him.

7. Clear your heart and purify it from the impurities and make yourself forget a thing named world. For the time of play has passed. And the time of truth has come. And how much of our lives we have wasted so shouldn't we invest these hours to offer offerings of closeness and obedience.

8. Let your breast be at ease between you and your marriage except a few light moments. In it you will start your happy content life with the everlasting bounty with the prophets and the confirmers of prophets the martyrs and the righteous and those are the best of companions.

We seek forgiveness from his bounty. And be optimistic for peace be upon him ("meaning the prophet used to like optimism in all the matters.'')

9. Then let it be in front of your eyes that if a tribulation had befallen you how .'.'. you stand firm and you recall and you know "that which inflicted you would not have missed you. And that which had missed you would not have inflicted you or hit you.''

Verily this tribulation upon you is from God the exalted in order to raise your station and to expiate your sins. Then know that it is few moments then things will become clear by the permission of Allah.

10. (Lengthy Koran scripture).

11. (Lengthy Koran scripture).

12. To prepare yourself, your luggage, your clothing, your knife, your tools, your identity cards, your passport.

13. Prepare or examine your weapon before traveling and before travel (which means before death). Let each one sharpen his razor .'.'. his slaughter.

14. Tighten your clothes on you very well and this is the path or the example of the early righteous community. May Allah be pleased with all of them for they used to tighten their clothing on themselves very well before the battle. Then tighten your shoes very well and wear a sock that is firmly holding onto the shoe and do not come out from it.

And all of these are causes we are commanded to take by it and Allah is sufficient for us and he is the best whom to depend upon.

15. Pray the morning prayer in a group. Reflect upon its reward. Come with the regular supplications after it and do not leave your apartment except with ablution.


The Second Stage

If the taxi transports you to the airport .'.'. remember to do much remembrance, the remembrance of the place .'.'.

Once you arrive to the airport and you can see it and get out of taxi do another supplication of the place.

Smile and be calm and content. Another supplication.

The benefits of these supplications are:

1. They are transformed with bounty of Allah and his generosity

2. No harm will be falling them

3. They are following the contentment of Allah. "To authenticate his analysis'' - a quote from Koran.

Lots of Koranic verses and statements of the Prophet follows.

Do not fear the enemy. Do not fear them rather fear me verily if you are believers. Fear is a grave statement and those who are friends of Allah and believers do not fear except Allah the one, the only, who in his hand is all things.

Do not make apparent on you the appearance of confusion and tightness of nerves and be happy smiling with your chest expanding and content because you are doing an act that Allah loves and is content with. Because there will be a day by the permission of Allah that you will spend it with pure women in paradise.

Smile in the face of adversity all young men for you are going forth to the everlasting paradise.

Any place that you go to or any action that you undertake maintain supplication and turning to Allah and verily god is with his servants the believers providing them protection and ease and success and victory and all things.


Third Stage - When you Ride the Plane

When you put your foot in it that you begin with supplication and bring awareness to yourself that this is a raid in the path of Allah. As the prophets of Allah going forth to a battle or coming forth from it in the path of Allah is better than the world and all what it contains.

When you put your foot in the plane and you sit in your chair, then bring forth the supplications that we mentioned and the ones that are known which we have already stated earlier. Then keep busy with the remembrance of God and do much of what Allah the exalted said. "Oh you who believe if you come upon a group then stand firm and remember Allah much that you may be successful.''

Then if the plane moves slightly in the direction to take off then recite the supplication for the traveler for verily you are traveling to God the exalted. (and be joyful with this travel)

Then you will see the plane after it stops then it will take off. This is the hour of the meeting of the characteristics. Then do remembrance of Allah as Allah had mentioned in his book "Oh Allah, pour upon us patience and make firm our feats and make us victorious upon the people of unbelief.''

"Oh Our Lord forgive to us our sins and our wastefulness in all our matters and make firm our feet and make us victorious upon the people of unbelief.''

Do supplication for yourself and to all your brothers that they will be able to conquer and be victorious and in hitting the targets .'.'. do not be fearful.

Ask of Allah to reward you with martyrdom coming forth and not turning away patient and aware of the accounting that you'll face with God.

Then let each one of you get prepared to undertake or to perform his role in a way that Allah is content with. Let him tighten his teeth as the early community used to do, may Allah be merciful upon them before engaging in the battle.

When the engagement begins then the hitting of heroes the ones that do not want to go back to this world and say God is Great!, for saying this makes fear enter the hearts of the unbelievers.

Know that the paradises have been ornamented for you with the most beautiful of its ornaments and the women of paradise are calling upon you to come forth oh you friend of Allah and she has worn the best of it's ornaments.

Don't differ from one another.


Put the benefit of the group above the self. Do not seek revenge for yourself, rather make everything for your group and everything is to Allah the exalted.

.'.'. writer narrates a story of one of the Prophets battles where he was about to kill an enemy he had just beaten up, with a sword and the person spit in his face. When he spit, he left, and responded, "First I was fighting you in path of Allah and when you spit my self got angry and I feared I would be fighting you to seek retribution for myself and that's why I stopped.''

When the hour of zero comes, breathe deeply and open your chest welcoming death in the way of Allah. Always remember that you end your life with prayer and that you begin with it before the target and let the last part of your speech be, "There is No God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.''

And after it, if God is willing, the meeting in the high paradise.

.'.'. writer reminds them the battle of the confederates had 10,000 soldiers and God gave victory to his servants the believers.

"When the believers saw the confederates they said this is what God promised us. Allah and his messenger are truthful. This has increased their belief and surrendering to Allah.''

Chilling advice for hijackers 

Bob Woodward / Washington Post 28sep01

Mohamed Atta, one of the key organizers among the 19 hijackers who carried out the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, left behind a five-page handwritten document in Arabic that includes Islamic prayers, instructions for a last night of life and practical reminders to bring "knives, your will, IDs, your passport" and, finally, "to make sure that nobody is following you."

FBI investigators, who found the writings in Atta's luggage, which did not make it onto his flight, are not sure of the author's identity -- whether it was Atta, another hijacker or someone else.

The document is a cross between a chilling spiritual exhortation aimed at the hijackers and an operational mission checklist. With the hijackers all dead, the pages may turn out to provide the most vivid and penetrating glimpse into their mental states and final hours before they embarked on the deadliest act of terrorism in U.S. history.

The haunting writings urge the hijackers to crave death and "be optimistic. " But the document starkly addresses 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. "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."

This appears in a section of the document beneath the words, "The last night." That section begins, "Remind yourself that in this night you will face many challenges. But you have to face them and understand it 100 percent. . . .

Obey God, his messenger, and don't fight among yourself . . . ."

The document instructs the hijackers to steel their will with prayer before embarking on their mission: "You should pray, you should fast. You should ask God for guidance. . . . . Continue to pray throughout this night. Continue to recite the Koran."

It continues: "Purify your heart and clean it from all earthly matters. The time of fun and waste has gone. The time of judgment has arrived. Hence we need to utilize those few hours to ask God for forgiveness. . . . From there you will begin to live the happy life, the infinite paradise. Be optimistic. The prophet was always optimistic."


The document offers eerie practical advice for the hijackers: "Check all of your items -- your bag, your clothes, knives, your will, your IDs, your passport, all your papers. Check your safety before you leave. . . . Make sure that nobody is following you."

A recurring theme is the promise of eternal life. "You will be entering paradise," the document says. "You will be entering the happiest life, everlasting life."

Atta, 33, and Abdulaziz Alomari spent the night of Sept. 10 in Room 232 of the South Portland Comfort Inn in Portland, Maine. Early Sept. 11, they boarded a flight from Portland to Boston's Logan Airport, where they connected to American Airlines Flight 11. The Los Angeles-bound plane was commandeered and flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

The FBI found another copy of essentially the same document in the wreckage of United Airlines Flight 93, a government source said. San Francisco-bound Flight 93 was hijacked and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. The multiple copies suggest the document was shared among at least some of the hijackers.

After the attacks, several published reports stated Atta had left a "suicide note." Other reports called it a will written by Atta, an Egyptian who joined radical Islamic circles while studying urban planning in Germany.

The first four pages of the document are handwritten on large paper and recite some basic Islamic history and prayers. The fifth and last page is on standard stenographer paper that apparently had been ripped from a pad and is headed, "When you enter the plane." It includes a series of prayers or exhortations. "Oh God, you who open all doors, please open all doors for me, open all venues for me, open all avenues for me."

It closes, "There is no God but God, I being a sinner. We are of God, and to God we return."

The document, several scholars of Islam said, draws on traditional Islamic prayers and alludes to Koranic verses. It begins with the universal Islamic benediction recalling God's mercy and compassion. And the last two paragraphs repeat the basic Muslim belief that "there is no God but God."

"Except for the section that talks about going into a plane and the knives, virtually everything else you could find in some medieval devotional manuals," said John Voll of Georgetown University's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

Other scholars noted the document's use of Islamic language to clothe a practical call to action.

"The jargon is authentic Islamic jargon," said Imad ad Dean Ahmad, president of the Minaret of Freedom Institute in Bethesda, Md. "It's obviously phrased to make it sound like it's part of a message to people going on a mission from which they will not return."


But two scholars said they found incongruous the opening line that refers to praying "in the name of God, of myself and my family . . ." because Muslims do not pray in their name or their families' names.

Jonathan Brockopp, assistant professor of Islamic studies at Bard College in New York, noted another incongruity in the statement about seeking death.

In mainstream Muslim tradition, he said, "there is an important distinction between suicide and martyrdom in that martyrs don't seek death. A martyr seeks to glorify God and be God's instrument . . . and is not necessarily seeking death."

The idea "of not seeking death," Brockopp added, "is tremendously important in Muslim tradition."

However, he said, Islamic extremists have arrived recently at their own interpretations of these early Muslim teachings, and the document's author appears to follow the extremist view.

Photos of Hijackers
Department of Justice 27sep01

While viewing these images
please keep in mind that these are people 
that lack any hope for life by having been pushed 
beyond their capacity to endure their own suffering 
and to witness that of their families and society.

Why have they came to such hopelessness?

When a country obtains great power,
it becomes like the sea:
all streams run downward into it.
The more powerful it grows,
the greater the need for humility.
Humility means trusting the Tao,
thus never needing to be defensive.

A great nation is like a great man:
When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
Having realized it, he admits it.
Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults
as his most benevolent teachers.
He thinks of his enemy
as the shadow that he himself casts.

If a nation is centered in the Tao,
if it nourishes its own people
and doesn't meddle in the affairs of others,
it will be a light to all nations in the world.

Tao Te Ching
(551-479 BCE)

American Airlines #11
Boeing 767
7:45 a.m. Departed Boston for Los Angeles
8:45 a.m. Crashed into North Tower of World Trade Center


Satam M. A. Al Suqami

Satam M. A. Al Suqami

Waleed M. Alshehri

Waleed M. Alshehri

Wail M. Alshehri

Wail M. Alshehri

Mohamed Atta

Mohamed Atta

Abdulaziz Alomari

Abdulaziz Alomari

1) Satam M.A. Al Suqami- Possible Saudi national
-Dates of birth used: June 28, 1976; Last known address: United Arab Emirates

2) Waleed M. Alshehri - Possible Saudi national
-Dates of birth used: September 13, 1974; January 1, 1976; March 3, 1976; July 8, 1977; December 20, 1978; May 11, 1979; November 5, 1979
-Possible residence(s): Hollywood, Florida; Orlando, Florida; Daytona Beach, Florida
-Believed to be a pilot

3) Wail M. Alshehri
-Date of birth used: September 1, 1968
-Possible residence(s): Hollywood, Florida; Newton, Massachusetts
-Believed to be a pilot

4) Mohamed Atta - Possible Egyptian national
-Date of birth used: September 1, 1968
-Possible residence(s): Hollywood, Florida; Coral Springs, Florida; Hamburg, Germany
-Believed to be a pilot
-Alias: Mehan Atta; Mohammad El Amir; Muhammad Atta; Mohamed El Sayed; Mohamed Elsayed; Muhammad Muhammad Al Amir Awag Al Sayyid Atta; Muhammad Muhammad Al-Amir Awad Al Sayad

5) Abdulaziz Alomari - Possible Saudi national
-Dates of birth used: December 24, 1972 and May 28, 1979
-Possible residence(s): Hollywood, Florida
-Believed to be a pilot

American Airlines #77
Boeing 757
8:10 a.m. Departed Dulles for Los Angeles
9:39 a.m. Crashed into Pentagon

Khalid Almihdhar

Khalid Almihdhar

Majed  Moqed

Majed Moqed

Nawaf Alhazmi

Nawaf Alhazmi

Salem  Alhazmi

Salem Alhazmi

Hani Hanjour

Hani Hanjour

Hani Hanjour

1) Khalid Almihdhar - Possible Saudi national
-Possible resident of San Diego, California, and New York
-Alias: Sannan Al-Makki; Khalid Bin Muhammad; 'Addallah Al-Mihdhar; Khalid Mohammad Al-Saqaf

2) Majed Moqed - Possible Saudi national
-Alias: Majed M.GH Moqed; Majed Moqed, Majed Mashaan Moqed

3) Nawaf Alhazmi - Possible Saudi national
-Possible resident of Fort Lee, New Jersey; Wayne, New Jersey; San Diego, California
-Alias: Nawaf Al-Hazmi; Nawaf Al Hazmi; Nawaf M.S. Al Hazmi

4) Salem Alhazmi - Possible Saudi national
-Possible resident of Fort Lee, New Jersey; Wayne, New Jersey

5) Hani Hanjour -
-Possible resident of Phoenix, Arizona, and San Diego, California
-Alias: Hani Saleh Hanjour; Hani Saleh; Hani Hanjour, Hani Saleh H. Hanjour

United Airlines #93
Boeing 757
8:42 a.m. Departed Newark for San Francisco
10:03 a.m. Crashed in Stony Creek Township

Saeed Alghamdi

Saeed Alghamdi

Ahmad Ibrahim A. Al Haznawi

Ahmad Ibrahim A. Al Haznawi

Ahmed Alnami

Ahmed Alnami

Ziad Samir Jarrah

Ziad Samir Jarrah

1) Saeed Alghamdi
-Possible residence: Delray Beach, Florida
-Alias: Abdul Rahman Saed Alghamdi; Ali S Alghamdi; Al- Gamdi; Saad M.S. Al Ghamdi; Sadda Al Ghamdi; Saheed Al-Ghamdi; Seed Al Ghamdi

2) Ahmed Ibrahim A. Al Haznawi - Possible Saudi national
-Date of birth used: October 11, 1980
-Possible residence: Delray Beach, Florida
-Alias: Ahmed Alhaznawi

3) Ahmed Alnami
-Possible residence: Delray Beach, Florida
-Alias: Ali Ahmed Alnami; Ahmed A. Al-Nami; Ahmed Al- Nawi

4) Ziad Samir Jarrah
-Believed to be a pilot
-Alias: Zaid Jarrahi; Zaid Samr Jarrah; Ziad S. Jarrah; Ziad Jarrah Jarrat, Ziad Samir Jarrahi

United Airlines #175
Boeing 767
7:58 a.m. Departed Boston for Los Angeles
9:05 a.m. Crashed into South Tower of World Trade Center

Marwan Al-Shehhi

Marwan Al-Shehhi

Fayez Rashid Ahmed Hassan Al Qadi Banihammad

Fayez Rashid Ahmed Hassan Al Qadi Banihammad

Ahmed Alghamdi

Ahmed Alghamdi

Hamza Alghamdi

Hamza Alghamdi

Mohand Alshehri

Mohand Alshehri

Hamza Alghamdi

Mohand Alshehri

1) Marwan Al-Shehhi
-Date of birth used: May 9, 1978
-Possible residence(s): Hollywood, Florida
-Believed to be a pilot
-Alias: Marwan Yusif Muhammad Rashid Al-Shehi; Marwan Yusif Muhammad Rashid Lakrab Al-Shihhi; Abu Abdullah

2) Fayez Rashid Ahmed Hassan Al Qadi Banihammad
-Possible residence(s): Delray Beach, Florida
-Alias: Fayez Ahmad; Banihammad Fayez Abu Dhabi Banihammad; Fayez Rashid Ahmed; Banihammad Fayez; Rasid Ahmed Hassen Alqadi; Abu Dhabi Banihammad Ahmed Fayez; Faez Ahmed

3) Ahmed Alghamdi
-Alias: Ahmed Salah Alghamdi

4) Hamza Alghamdi
-Possible residence(s): Delray Beach, Florida
-Alias: Hamza Al-Ghamdi; Hamza Ghamdi; Hamzah Alghamdi; Hamza Alghamdi Saleh

5) Mohand Alshehri
-Possible residence(s): Delray Beach, Florida
-Alias: Mohammed Alshehhi; Mohamd Alshehri; Mohald Alshehri

source: 29sep01


personal info source: http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel01/092701hjpic.htm 29sep01

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