Bin Laden 'tried to watch 9/11 on TV'
Published 16/04/2010 | 05:00
OSAMA bin Laden tried and failed to set up a satellite TV link to watch the September 11 attacks from his Afghan hideout as they happened, according to his former bodyguard.
Nasser al Bahri (37), who now preaches against the fanaticism of the Islamist network, said his former master had requested a satellite dish in his hideout in Kandahar.
Due to the rugged, mountainous terrain, he was not able to get a signal and failed to see the planes striking the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York.
"It is very important that we are able to watch the news today," bin Laden is said to have told his media chief, Hassan al-Bahloul.
Mr al Bahri also claims that the al-Qa'ida leader is still alive and well.
Mr al Bahri was the first person to help the CIA link bin Laden to the September 11 hijackers.
They were his "friends" before the strikes, although he knew nothing of their mission. He first met Mohammed Atta, the mastermind, in a safe house in Pakistan where "he was playing video games on a PlayStation where he was flying a plane".
Asked whether bin Laden was still alive, Mr al Bahri said: "His death, even if it was not announced immediately for internal reasons, would end up being known in jihadist circles and on the internet." He said he believed bin Laden was under tribal protection in Waziristan.
"(The tribe's) allegiance is more religious than tribal, which is a bonus for bin Laden, who built them roads and houses 20 years ago," he said.
As his bodyguard, Mr al Bahri, who was known as Abu Jandal (the killer), was told by bin Laden to shoot him dead if he was on the verge of capture by Westerners.
"I would rather receive two bullets in the head than to be taken prisoner. I want to die a martyr, but certainly not in prison," he told him.
"Today I wish I had used it, but at the time he was someone very important for me," Mr al Bahri said.
His claims are published in his book, 'In the Shadow of bin Laden', written with French journalist Georges Malbrunot. (© Daily Telegraph, London)