Addressing the 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists: Where Fervour Trumps ‘Deep Throats’

Michael Roberts

When one of my articles on the jihadist network that perpetrated the 21/4 attacks in Sri Lanka referred to the inspirations behind the 9/11 attacks in USA, I was surprised to receive vehement rejections of the latter contention from two good friends and one distant  ‘aide’ in Canada – challenges sent independently of each other.

These challenges have been rejected by other friends – at times quite bluntly. But Jeremy Liyanage,[1] Jean-Pierre Page[2] and Chris Black[3] are individuals with whom I have interacted fruitfully and whose commitment to the pursuit of truth and reform in this world are not in doubt. So, this revisiting of 9/11 and its perpetrators on my part is a personal journey that addresses my three friends, while yet seeking to raise significant issues in today’s world – especially embracing the ramifications of the ideological currents known as “Wahhabism” and “Salafism” (terms that seem to be deployed interchangeably).[4]

The central debate on 9/11 is between the prevailing reading that attributes the attack to Al-Qaida and the dissident theory that contends that it was an US State Department plot directed towards boosting America’s warlike Middle Eastern and Afghanistan programmes. This line of reasoning derives in part from the readings “of engineers, physicists, firemen and policemen who were witnesses to the internal explosions that brought the buildings down” (quote from Chris Black, 13 July 2019 ……………………. in https://wordpress.com/post/thuppahi.wordpress.com/36007).

This knot and other vital issues surrounding the theory of a USA plot will be addressed in a second article in the pipeline. Here, I develop an idiosyncratic line of thought which clarifies WHY I believe that ideologues driven by Salafi convictions carried out the intricate 9/11 operation.[5]

Michael-Think

My conviction on this issue is based on my reading of Mohammed Atta’s face set within the biographical details on his life. Fervency is etched into his visage – not quite the same sort of zealotry displayed by Zahran Hashim of 21/4 infamy; but, nevertheless, zealotry in stark modality. Since Atta’s biography shows that he was not a village idiot, it follows that this fervency had thought behind it. In my reasoning such a thinking zealot could not be entrapped into serving as an operational commander of any American plot and certainly not one such as 9/11.

 Atta Zahran  Hhim pontificating

Indeed, the conspiracy theorists must go beyond Mohammed Atta and demonstrate that the key directors of this Al Qaida project, namely, Mohamed Atef, Osama Bin Laden, Al Zawahiri and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, had been enveloped and misled into carrying out such attacks by US schemers. The burden of proof is on their backs.

My line of contention need not be – and cannot be – extended to all the 9/11 commandoes. While the visage of the 20th commando Zacarias Moussaoui, whose arrest precluded his participation,** does suggest a touch of fervency, the biographical data on several other members of Atta’s Hamburg cell, viz., Ziad Jarrah, Shehhi, Balaji and bin-al-Shihh, reveal instances of a carefree perspective not atypical for educated migrants in Western cities.[6]

 Zacarias

However, in mid-1998 these four young men became adherents of the Hamburg cell centred around Mohammed Atta whose thinking by then was directed by the preaching associated with the al-Quds Mosque, which adhered to a “harsh, uncompromisingly fundamentalist, and resoundingly militant” version of Sunni Islam.[7] It appears that they “met three or four times a week to discuss their anti-American feelings and to plot possible attacks” and that Atta’s flat served as a home for many Al Qaida personnel “including hijacker Marwan al-ShehhiZakariya Essabar, and others.”[8]

If the Wikipedia account can be relied upon, in late 1999 these Salafi zealots even decided to travel to Chechnya to fights against the Russians; but were persuaded by Khalid al-Masri and Mohamedoau Quld Slahi to travel to Afghanistan. It was at this stage that they are said to have committed themselves to Al-Qaida and more specifically to what was known as “the planes operation plot.” Towards this end they sat down with Mohamed Atef and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who seem to have been the masterminds behind this ingenious scheme of passenger aircraft weaponry.

  Mohamed Atef Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

While the latter were the backroom boffins, Mohammed Atta became the operational commander. As such, it is probably Atta who fashioned the document marked “The Last Night” which spelt out the steps every one of the nineteen men on this suicide mission should adhere to before they struck their jihadist blow for Allah.[9] No review of 9/11 should see daylight without addressing “The Last Night” – with additional attention to Mohammed Atta’s will (presented here as an Appendix[10]).

“The Last Night,” it should be stressed, was drafted by someone “well acquainted with the Qur’an” and possessing “a strong basis in Muslim pious literature.”[11] It is permeated by a pervasive emphasis on prayer as an essential tool in sustaining each commando assassin’s determination and goal orientation.

The Last Night

This document set out the requisite (thus ideal) preparatory practices for each Al-Qaeda commando. Among the injunctions are these:

  • “Mutual swearing of the oath unto death and renewal of [one’s] intention. Shave excess hair from the body and apply cologne. Shower.”
  • “Much remembrance [of God] and know that the best way of remembrance is to read/recite the Noble Qur’an.”
  • “When the taxi is taking you to the a[irport], then recite the devotional of travel, the devotional of [entering a] town, the devotional of praise and other devotionals.”
  • Then say the prayer: “God, make me strong through your entire creation … Then you when you have said it, you will find matters straightened;”

And, lastly but not least, they could be assured THAT “… All of their [USA’s] devices, their [security] gates and their technology will not save them [USA] nor harm [anyone] without God’s permission.”

By way of embellishment, we must also consider the fact that Mohammed Atta had drafted a will way back in April 1996 – beginning with this affirmation: “I am Mohamed Klamir Awad Elsayed: I believe that Prophet Mohamed is God’s messenger and will time come no doubt that that and God will resurrect people who are in their graves. I wanted my family and everyone who reads this will to fear the Almighty God and don’t get deceived by what is in life.”

This will insisted that the people attending to his body and attending the funeral should be ‘Good Muslims;” that the white cloth covering his body should not be silk or expensive; that the  “person [washing] my body near my genitals must wear gloves on his hand so he won’t touch my genitals;” that he did not desire “anyone to weep and cry or to rip their clothes or slap their face because this is ignorant things to do.” Moreover, his grave should be among “good Muslims;” while it was imperative that his face should be facing east towards Mecca.

Here, then, were the profound thoughts of a fundamentalist Muslim of Salafi persuasion in 1996. To readers not so hidebound, there will be irony in the fact that his commitment to the Al-Qaida project meant that he did not face Mecca as he died and that he became part of the dust-bowl that was the shattered World Trade Centre – reduced to dust amidst numerous infidels.

My Affirmation in the Same Spirit as Atta’s Will

Mohammed Atta was not only a pious Salafi zealot. He was an intelligent person. Those who believe that the 9/11 attack was an US government plot must provide chapter and verse to indicate HOW he, together with Mohamed Atef, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden, were fooled and primed into working – inadvertently or otherwise – in support of a deep-laid USA project.

Those who mark the US State Department as the engineers of 9/11 will have to go further and demonstrate that the failed “Bojinka Operation” in the Pacific masterminded by Ramez Youssef in 1994/95 was also an American scheme. The point is that Khalid Sheihkh Mohammed was one of Youssef’s lieutenants in this grand plot, while Osama, one Wali Kan Amin Shah and an Indonesian known as “Hambali” were the financiers.

  Youssef     Hambali

The Bojinka Operation was a grand scheme that nearly matched 9/11. The plan was for several operatives to secret bombs on eleven flights from SE Asia and Asia to USA killing (hopefully) over 4000 people. These, I stress, were not suicide missions. But it was a “grand scheme.” Moreover, there were ‘subsidiary’ plots for the same months in early 1995: (a) to assassinate the Pope when he visited Manila in January; and (b) for one “Murad” who had US residency and flying skills to gain control of a Cessna, fill it with explosives and hit the CIA headquarters at Langley. These schemes unravelled because their bomb-making experiments in a Manila hotel room generated a fire. Youssef was arrested and the plans dissipated.

The implications of this failed plot are obvious. Herein lay the germ of an ingenious and devastating strike – moving from the downing of passenger planes to their conversion into giant bombs deployed simultaneously. Party to this thinking in 1994/95 were the Indonesian leader of Jemaah Islamiyah known as “Hambali,”[12] Khalid Sheihkh Mohammed and Osama bin Laden. It is not a giant leap for one to suggest that the latter two converted the idea into the grand scheme of airplane hits that was 9/11.

Those who consider the 9/11 operation to be an USA plot must also demonstrate that the failed Bojinka conspiracy was of similar inspiration and that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has always been a CIA agent in Arabian clothes.

****  ****

MOHAMMED ATTA’S WILL

In the name of God Almighty

Death Certificate

This is what I want to happen after my death,

I am Mohamed Klamir  Awad Elsayed: I believe that Prophet Mohamed is God’s messenger and will time come no doubt that that and God will resurrect people who are in their graves. I wanted my family and everyone who reads this will to fear the Almighjty God and don’t get deceived by what is in life and to fear God and to follow and his prophets, if they are real believers. In my memory I want them to do what Ibrahim (a prophet) told his son to do, to die as a good Muslim. When I die, I want the people who will inherit my possessions to do the following:

  1. The people who will prepare my body should be good Muslims because this will remind me of god and his forgiveness.
  2. The people who are preparing my body should close my eyes and pray that I will go to heaven and to get me new clothes, the ones I died in.
  3. I don’t want anyone to weep and cry or to rip their clothes or slap their face because this is ignorant things to do.
  4. I don’t want anyone to visit me who didn’t get along with me while I was alive or to kiss me or say goodbye when I die.
  5. I don’t want a pregnant woman or a person who is not clean to come and say goodbye to me because I don’t approve of it.
  6. I don’t want women to come to my house to apologize for my death. I am not responsible for people who will sacrifice animals in front of my lying body because this against Islam.
  7. Those who will sit beside my body must remember Allah, God and pray for me to be with the angels.
  8. The people who will clean my body should be good Muslims and I do not want a lot of people to wash my body unless it is necessary.
  9. The person who will wash my body near my genitals must wear gloves on his hand so he won’t touch my genitals.
  10. I want the clothes I wear to consist of three white pieces of cloth, not to be made from silk or expensive material.
  11. I don’t want any women to go to my grave all during my funeral or any occasion thereafter.
  12. During my funeral I want everyone to be quiet because God mentioned that he likes being quiet on three occasions, when you recite the Koran, during the funeral and when you are crawling. You must speed my funeral procession and I would like many people there to pray for me.
  13. When you bury me the people with whom I will be buried should be good Muslims. I want to face east toward Mecca.
  14. I should be laying my right side. You should throw the dust we created you dust and to dust you will return. From the dust a new person will be created. After that everyone should mention Gods name and I died as a Muslim which is Gods religion. Everyone who attends my funeral ask that I will be forgiven for what I have done in the past (not this action).
  15. The people lwho will attend my funeral should at my grave for a hour so I will enjoy their company and slaughter animals and give the meat to the nedy.
  16. The custom has been to memoralise the dead every forty days or once a year but I do not want this because it is not Islamic custom.
  17. I don’t want people to take time to write things on paper to be kept their pockets as superstition. Time should be taken to pray to God instead.
  18. All the money I left must be divided according to the Muslim religion as almighty God has asked us to do. A third of my money should be spent on the poor and needy. I want my books to go to any one of the Musliq mosque. I wanted the people who look at my will be one of the heads of the Sunna religion. Whoever it is, I want that person to be from where I grew up or any person I used to follow in prayer. People will be held responsible for not following the Muslim religion. I wanted to the people who I life behind to fear God and not to be deceived by what life has to offer and to pray more God and to be good believers. Whoever neglects this will or does not follow the religion that person will be help responsible to the end.

This was written on April 11, 1996, the Islamic calendar of zoelqada 1416.

Written by MOHAMED MOHAMED ELAMIR AWAD ELSAYED.

Witnesses:   ABDELGANI MUZWADY (signature)

Witnesses:  ALMUTASADEQ MUNIR (signature)

****  ****

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Black, Christopher 2014 “The Criminalisation of International Justice,” 24 November 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8NHawXaOPc

Cook, David 2002 “Suicide Attacks or ‘Martyrdom Operations’ in Contemporary Jihad Literature,” Nova Religio, 2002, Vol. 6: 7–44.

 Cook, David 2005 Understanding Jihad, University of California Press.

Hassan. Riaz 2016   ÏSIS and the Caliphate,” Australian Journal of Political Science,

Izzadeen, Ameen & Abdullah Shahnawaz 2019 The Emergence of Salafi Jihadists in the Kattankudy Locality in the Eastern Province,” 28 April 2019, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/the-emergence-of-salafi-jihadists-in-the-kattankudy-locality-in-the-eastern-province/

McDermott, Terry 2006 Perfect Soldiers. The 9/11 Hijackers, Harper Perennial, 2006.

Page, Jean-Pierre 2014 “For Bala Tampoe,” 6 September 2014, ……  …………………………. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/for-bala-tampoe/

Reuter, Christoph 2002 My Life Is a Weapon: A Modern History of Suicide Bombing. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002.

Roberts, Michael 1996 “Understanding Zealots and Questions for Post-Orientalism,” IIAS Newsletter 7 1996 (Winter): 25–26 …… reprinted in Celebrations: Fifty Years of Sri Lanka-Australia Interactions, ed. C. A. Van den Driesen and I. H. Van den Driesen (Colombo: Government Press, 1999), 544–548.

Roberts, Michael 1999 “Self-immolation,” Lanka Monthly Digest, 1999, vol. 6/2: 56–57.

Roberts, Michael 2005 “Tamil Tiger ‘Martyrs’: Regenerating Divine Potency?” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 2005, vol. 28/6: 493–514.

Roberts, Michael 2005“Saivite Symbols, Sacrifice, and Tamil Tiger Rites,” Social Analysis vol. 49, no. 1: 67–93.

Roberts, Michael 2019 “The Clash of Civilisations and Hate in Sri Lanka,” 14 May 2019, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/the-clash-of-civilisations-and-hate-at-the-heart-of-21-4-in-sri-lanka/#more-35621

Roberts, Michael 2019 “Dynamite! 9/11 as Dynamite. Friends at War,” 13 June 2019, https://wordpress.com/post/thuppahi.wordpress.com/36007

Wright, Lawrence 2006 The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, Alfred Knopf.

END NOTES

[1] SEE https://bridginglanka.wordpress.com/ …and https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/bridging-lanka-i-sustaining-mannars-kulams/ …. and …https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremy-liyanage-70780116/?originalSubdomain=au … and …https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/karunas-split-with-pirapaharan-in-2004-in-his-own-words/

[2] I have stayed overnight at Battaramulla with Page and his partner Tamara Kunanayakam on two occasions and had fascinating chats as well as delicious fare.

[3] See https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/american-trojan-horses-penetrating-sri-lanka-now/ and Black 2014.

[4] Apart from the Wikipedia references, see Riaz Hassan, 2016.

[5] One reviewer named “Kirkus” has remarked that “the loosely conceived plot that outwitted U.S. security [worked] largely through its sheer simplicity and insanity” ………………………….. …………. (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/terry-mcdermott/perfect-soldiers/). This appears to be valid, but note that the measures taken to gain entry into US and secure flight training called for long-term pre-planning: seehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Atta

[6] See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Atta

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Atta.

[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Atta.

[9] Pertinent details from this document item can be found in David Cook, 2002.

[10] I thank Mohamed Mowzil of the ICES, Colombo for typing this document up into a usable format.

[11] Cook 2002: 21.

[12] Entry in Wikipedia: “Riduan Isamuddin also transliterated as Riduan Isamudin, Riduan Isomuddin, and Riduan Isomudin, better known by the nom de guerre Hambali, born as Encep Nurjaman (born April 4, 1964) is the former military leader of the Indonesian terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), which is linked with al-Qaeda. He is now in extrajudicial detention in the United States‘s Guantanamo Bay detainment camps.

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, arab regimes, architects & architecture, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, landscape wondrous, life stories, martyrdom, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, Taliban, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes

One response to “Addressing the 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists: Where Fervour Trumps ‘Deep Throats’

  1. AN EMAIL COMMENT from KEN MONCRIEFF in Brisbane, 16 July 2019:
    Dear Michael, …..To suggest any other motivation behind 9/11 is lunacy. To imaging that the FBI and other agencies deliberately ignored the pilot training of these Islamists so they could attack the USA to give it reasons for counter attacks anywhere in the World against Islamic extremism, is way beyond any reason, esp. after the first failed attack on the towers. Such thoughts may be derived from some other ulterior motives?

    Regards, Ken

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