Breaking: Times of London obtains Mohammed Atta martyrdom video; Flashback: “Nineteen Martyrs”; Update: Stills analyzed

posted at 7:16 pm on September 30, 2006 by Allahpundit

I’ve always hoped we wouldn’t have to suffer an Atta video. I can stand videos of any of the other 18 — they’re all basically fungible — but to be taunted from the grave by the hijacker everyone recognizes is intolerable. I’m not sure we should even post it when it comes out.

We will, though, of course.

The article says there’s no audio on the video the Times of London has, which means they’ve got a pirated copy. But who pirated it, and from whom?

They’re not saying yet. They had better soon.

Update: Smile.

atta-jarrah.jpg

American and German investigators have struggled to find evidence of Atta’s whereabouts in January 2000 after he disappeared from Hamburg. The hour-long tape places him in Afghanistan at a decisive moment in the development of the conspiracy when he was given operational command…

The video indicates how easily they slipped from a western identity to a fundamentalist one. It also shows up the subterfuge they maintained in Germany and America that they did not know each other, all part of evading detection.

The video will be posted at noon London time, 7 a.m. ET.

Update: More.

The unedited video was passed to The Sunday Times through a previously tested channel. On condition of anonymity, sources from both Al-Qaeda and the United States have confirmed its authenticity. It has no sound — and lip-readers have failed to decipher it, according to a US source — but the images speak loudly for themselves.

Update: DU is on it.

Update: It’s worth noting the uniform yellow background behind Atta and Jarrah in that photo. When we tape, Michelle stands in front of what’s known as a “green screen”; Hollywood uses the same thing for their FX shots. The actor is placed in front of a backdrop of uniform color, which can then be easily isolated and replaced later using video editing software with whatever backdrop you choose. That’s how we get those nifty over-the-shoulder graphics in Vent. Al Qaeda has done this in all five hijacker videos released thus far, as you can see by clicking and scrolling here.

The point is this: from what Bryan tells me, you don’t need an actual screen to achieve this effect. Any solid uniform color backdrop will do. So the video of Atta that you see tomorrow might very well reappear in the future — except this time with an image of a collapsing North Tower behind him.

Update: Misha and See-Dub noted the silver lining in the comments, to wit, that this video punches yet another hole in the Truther conspiracy theory. Of course, strictly speaking, there is no Truther conspiracy theory. But to the extent that there is, that particular hole was punched long ago. Case in point: here’s the first few minutes (slightly edited) of one of AQ’s first professional-quality propaganda videos, titled “Nineteen Martyrs” and released on or around the first anniversay of 9/11. I’d forgotten about it until I started researching video wills of the hijackers for this post. Most of it is devoted to Flight 11 hijacker Abdulaziz al-Omari reading his will, but the beginning is a tribute to all 19 in turn, replete with short biographical details. You will, I trust, recognize the narrator’s voice. I’ve also tacked on a few seconds of the voiceover intro to al-Omari’s segment. It’s in English. You’ll recognize that voice, too.

Note that whereas most of the images of the muscle hijackers clearly come from their martyrdom videos, the images of the four pilots come from photos. Why? If AQ has been sitting on videos of Atta and Jarrah, why didn’t they use screencaps from those, too?

Update: Another thread opens at DU.

Update: The Atta/Jarrah videos are now posted at the Times of London. Watch parts 1 and 2 especially. They’re all outdoors at a facility we were watching. It would have taken one cruise missile.

Update: Mary K tells me that Hamid Mir was just on Fox saying that the release of the Atta tape could be a “go” signal for a new attack.

Update: Speaking of freaky old-school Al Qaeda videos, here’s a much younger Ayman al-Zawahiri in jail in Egypt screeching — in English — about torture.

Update: The NEFA Foundation has pulled stills from the ToL video and pointed out some familiar faces in the crowd. The tops dogs are all there.

More (Bryan): Just to add to what Allah said above about the composited look of some of AQ’s newer videos, if they shot all of the original martyrdom flicks on that yellow background we see in the Atta video, they probably had a nasty time getting a chroma key to work but there was a point to the effort. A chroma key is the effect the weather people use to put themselves in front of a map. Or to put Obi-wan and Anakin on that volcanic planet. Or to put Michelle in front of that wavy digital background for Vent. Green is usually the color of choice; blue is useful too. It usually depends on what colors the camera talent is wearing. Yellow isn’t used because it’s too close to a match for human skin or hair. It’s also very reflective, so I’d guess that you would get a lot of light spilling around your subject, further complicating the key effect. If we see an Atta video later made from the martyrdom vid that’s just come out, the producer either earned his keep fighting with that chroma key to make it work or he rotoscoped it, which means he cut the hijacker out frame by frame and put him in front of another background. It’s time-consuming grunt work, not terribly difficult but a pain. Looking at that yellow background, I doubt that AQ originally planned to do the composites they’re doing now to put their dead jihadis in front of the buildings they destroyed. They’re probably doing the current composite or virtual set look to disguise their locations, and someone got the wild hair to make all the old vids look more like the new ones to further disguise the old shoot locations, most of which are now craters. The software to do either the chroma key or the rotoscoping isn’t very expensive and it’s worth the effort if you’re the world’s most hunted terrorist group. It’s all about getting the message out without betraying their location, and they’re obviously doing pretty well at that.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Hey, at least it might get the moronic Truthers to shut up!

Yeah, I know. Who am I trying to kid?

Misha I on September 30, 2006 at 7:26 PM

My thoughts exactly, Misha.

see-dubya on September 30, 2006 at 7:32 PM

Hey, at least it might get the moronic Truthers to shut up!

The video’s datestamped Jan 18, 2000. They’ll use that as “evidence” that whoever really made the vid really wants us to believe it was made six years ago instead of, say, last week.

Allahpundit on September 30, 2006 at 7:44 PM

The video’s datestamped Jan 18, 2000. They’ll use that as “evidence” that whoever really made the vid really wants us to believe it was made six years ago instead of, say, last week.

You mean like how they are saying that in the Duke Lacross “rape” case concerning the time stamped pictures?

SouthernGent on September 30, 2006 at 8:01 PM

The article says there’s no audio on the video the Times of London has, which means they’ve got a pirated copy. But who pirated it, and from whom?

Well, I was going to answer with simply, “Rove”, but I see you guys are already on the same wave length as me about this thing, and AP just nailed it –

The video’s datestamped Jan 18, 2000. They’ll use that as “evidence” that whoever really made the vid really wants us to believe it was made six years ago instead of, say, last week.

Yup, because if you’ve watched Loose Change, you stupid Bush neocons would know that all of the hijackers are still alive (as are apparently all the people on the planes)

Go to Bohemian Grove, see the Bush administration and the rest of the House and Senate performing mock sacrifices in front of the giant owl! Compare that with the hidden own on the $1 bill, the edges of the pyramid, the pentagram, etc. all telling a story on the bill… Illuminati! Free Masons! They’re taking over! Cant you see, that’s why everything in Iraq is going so smoothly because this has bee n planned for generations!

RightWinged on September 30, 2006 at 8:06 PM

Jan 18, 2000. Who was president then?

JammieWearingFool on September 30, 2006 at 8:47 PM

Jan 18, 2000. Who was president then?

Don’t make me wag my finger in your face to remind you! :-p

SouthernGent on September 30, 2006 at 8:49 PM

Well I checked out what those individuals at DU were saying. They’re really out to lunch. Southern Gent loved the “time stamp Duke” refernce! Made me laugh! :)

Catie96706 on September 30, 2006 at 9:01 PM

Jan 18, 2000. Who was president then?

Take it easy, he was working hard to try to kill Santa at the time.

RightWinged on September 30, 2006 at 9:36 PM

Does it bother anyone else that the Times of London apparently has sources within Al Qaeda? Just a little sketchy if you ask me.

tiekitwist on September 30, 2006 at 9:45 PM

And the democrat traitors call them “freedom fighters” and attack our President instead????

NRA4Freedom on September 30, 2006 at 10:30 PM

Is that any surprise? The AP does, and somehow American news companies have pulled interviews with UBL and Saddam in the past, not to mention it’s quite clear where most of their sympathies lie. And I’m not just saying that as a right-winger. The left/media is more concerned about the “rights” of terrorists than they are about our safety, that’s a simple obvious fact to any honest observer.

RightWinged on September 30, 2006 at 10:37 PM

(my last comment was in reply to tiekitwist’s question by the way)

RightWinged on September 30, 2006 at 10:38 PM

DU is on it.

Funny how I first read, DU is in on it.

Niko on September 30, 2006 at 11:10 PM

Just look like dedicated moderate muslims to me, obeying their vows to Allah.

LZVandy on October 1, 2006 at 7:46 AM

Which is Murder and mayhem…….wake up America. Kick em out.

LZVandy on October 1, 2006 at 7:46 AM

Rightwinged, I guess it really isn’t a surprise, but it still gets me every time I think about it. Our government must know that the press has these sources, it drives me crazy that they aren’t doing anything. Personally, I always thought that the “freedom of the press” stopped where “aiding and abetting” began… but it would appear that is not case.

tiekitwist on October 1, 2006 at 8:28 AM

President William Jefferson Buttafucco Clinton:

“You know, it would scare the shit out of al-Quaeda if suddenly a bunch of black ninjas rappelled out of helicopters into the middle of their camp.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/…in529223.shtml

http://www.9-11commission.gov/report…on%20Report%22

shermacman on October 1, 2006 at 8:30 AM

While watching the videos, I thought any minute now I’m going to see all of them crawling around on all-fours sniffing each other’s asses. Then again, I shouldn’t compare them to dogs, I like dogs.

Jeff on October 1, 2006 at 9:19 AM

So, are the conspiracy theorists still saying the American Govt bombed the Pentagon with Cruise missiles???

MoonbatMedia on October 1, 2006 at 9:23 AM

Hey MoonbatMedia, well if the Cruise Missiles are ruled out then maybe they were hired by Bush, posing as employees of Halliburton, to do the job.

Jeff on October 1, 2006 at 10:23 AM

Hired by Bush to blow themselves up. Now that sounds plausible! He must have paid them a hell of a lot of money and promised them 72 virgins in paradise.

MoonbatMedia on October 1, 2006 at 4:28 PM

Mary K tells me that Hamid Mir was just on Fox saying that the release of the Atta tape could be a “go” signal for a new attack.

We best be on our toes, including, hopefully, all our agencies. They will try for sure to influence outcome of the Nov. 7 election. What better way, from their perspective, than to prove that this admin. couldn’t stop another major attack. They’ve had 5 years to plot; AQ is weak and needs a major event to re-establish ‘credibility’ to continue to recruit…

It seems futile to state the obvious, but it is also imperative – they know they’d have it easier with a Pelosi & Co. as Speaker and other significant functions/actions (i.e. who monitors them, if at all, who restricts their money, fights them, if at all, etc.)

The next 40+ days are extremely precarious as the terrorists, the media and the Leftie operatives are contemplating bombs, real and political, of any sort and impact.

Entelechy on October 1, 2006 at 4:42 PM

Personally, I always thought that the “freedom of the press” stopped where “aiding and abetting” began… but it would appear that is not case.

Certainly an important lesson of the past couple years…

RightWinged on October 1, 2006 at 5:15 PM

The Atta/Jarrah videos are now posted at the Times of London. Watch parts 1 and 2 especially. They’re all outdoors at a facility we were watching. It would have taken one cruise missile.

“I worked hard to kill him!”

RightWinged on October 1, 2006 at 5:16 PM

This is a wax

Wade on June 15, 2007 at 5:18 PM