SCMP Saturday, September 29, 2001
Chilling guide for attackers promises 'infinite paradise'
Investigators have found an Arabic-language document believed to have been written by one of the hijackers which appears to be a spiritual and practical guide to preparing for the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
The Washington Post said the five-page, handwritten document was found among the possessions of Mohammed Atta, who was believed to be a leader of the hijackers, and authorities said another copy had been found in the wreckage of United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.
The Arabic translation of the document showed a chilling message to the hijackers to stick together and overcome their fears in carrying out the terrorist assaults.
The document tells the hijackers that "infinite paradise" awaits them. But it also advises them to be careful in carrying out their assignments.
They are told to take care of their wills, weapons and identity documents and ensure clothes are clean to prevent drawing attention to themselves.
While the note promises "infinite paradise" for carrying out the suicide attacks, the author also seems concerned about the possibility of conflict among them.
"Obey God, his messenger, and don't fight among yourself where you become weak, and stand fast. God will stand with those who stood fast."
The excerpts published by the Post also try to ease fears of death among the hijackers.
"Everybody hates death, fears death," the translation said, urging them to "be optimistic. The prophet was always optimistic". The hijackers were told to pray as they entered their planes - "Oh God, open all doors for me" - to ensure everything went to plan.