The channel said it showed al-Qaeda leaders “preparing for the attacks and practising their execution”. Bin Laden is seen walking outdoors in a mountainous area wearing a dark robe and white head gear. The broadcast came four days before the fifth anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks. The footage also shows the al-Qaeda leader meeting senior figures Ramzi Binalshibh and Mohammed Atef in what al-Jazeera said were the mountains of Afghanistan.
Binalshibh was captured in 2002 and Atef was killed by a US air strike in Afghanistan in late 2001. The BBC’s Adam Brookes in Washington says it appears to be a meeting held just a few days before the 9/11 attacks took place. He says that although there will be little current intelligence to be gleaned from the videotape, the images and their ghostly quality serve as reminders of the intricacy and potency of the 9/11 plot.
Al-Jazeera also showed a tape said to be of the new al-Qaeda leader in Iraq urging Iraqis to join with insurgents.