Skip to main content
CNN International EditionU.S.
The Web     
Powered by
On The Scene

Boettcher: Video shows details of 9/11 terror cell

CNN's Mike Boettcher
CNN's Mike Boettcher

Story Tools

more video VIDEO
A new video released by German authorities shows members of the al Qaeda cell connected to the 9-11 attacks at a wedding. CNN's Mike Boettcher reports (May 7)
premium content

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A newly-obtained video shows suspected 9/11 plotters mixing with some of the hijackers at a wedding reception two years before the terrorist attacks on the United States. CNN Correspondent Mike Boettcher has been looking over the video and talked with anchor Paula Zahn about what he's seen and heard on the tape.

MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I've been looking at the video for the past hour. It's very interesting. German authorities think that too because they believe it is the nucleus of that infamous Hamburg cell.

Now, let's take a look at the video and take a look at some of the top players who are in there. Said Bahaji, who was believed by German authorities to be one of the plotters of the 9/11 attack. He left Germany days before 9/11 and fled to Pakistan. He is still at large.

Ramzi Binalshibh, a major figure in al Qaeda then. He was in charge of logistics, and at this point it is believed he took part in plotting the 9/11 attacks. He was captured in Karachi, Pakistan, exactly a year after those attacks.

In a second video is hijacker Marwan Al-Shehhi is chanting a song. He has a beard. When he came to the United States, that beard was shaved before 9/11 so that he could fit in more, according to U.S. authorities. We have other pictures of other people in that wedding ceremony, that occurred in October of 1999 in Hamburg, Germany.

Also in there is Ziad Jarrah, who was on United Flight 93 which crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Also believed to be in the video is Mahmoud Al-Kanzani, who was a financier, according to some of the investigators in the 9/11 attacks.

He denies any involvement in those attacks, but there are lawyers for the families and German authorities who believe he was involved. So there are a lot of people in there, Paula, who are very key to the investigation. German authorities have had this tape for quite some time. The families' lawyers now have had it for quite some time, and now it's in the public domain, and we are analyzing it.

CNN ANCHOR PAULA ZAHN: So let me ask you this, ultimately, what role do you think this tape will play in the investigation now that some folks have had months to look at it and digest it?

BOETTCHER: Well, I think it will give us a great insight into the anatomy of the cell, the associations, the personal relationships, that these people were indeed together, and we know that some of those people were directly involved in the hijackings. And you can tell by the rhetoric in the room, too, that something was up.

Let me read you one quote, Paula, from that particular wedding ceremony, and this was read by Ramzi Binalshibh. He says: "We are still in Arabic class, and at the end of class there will be a test, and the test is the meal, God willing. There will be those who pass and those who fail." Presumably, he was referring to the 9/11 attacks, so there's a lot of information in there that will be and has been of great benefit to German and American authorities.

ZAHN: That sort of makes your skin crawl when you hear this stuff for the first time. You've had a chance to sit there in an edit room and look at this. Does this just make you physically sick to see this and imagine what they're saying to each other?

BOETTCHER: Yes. You look at a video two years before, and know they had an idea -- an idea two years before. Many people died in New York City, and you can't help but think that, Paula. And that's why the lawyers for the families believe this is a very important tape in proving the case for the families, and it will be and has been, as I said, very important for authorities when, for example, they do eventually arrest Bahaji, if they do. And in future cases, this could be a very key video.

Also it's believed that Mohammed Atta is in that room. I did not see him in the video, but it's believed he's in a room. He was in a wedding photograph, we were told.

Story Tools
Click Here to try 4 Free Trial Issues of Time! cover
Top Stories
Father guilty of killing 9 of his children
Top Stories
EU 'crisis' after summit failure

On CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNN AvantGo CNNtext Ad info Preferences
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.