'20th hijacker' shown in Web video
By CNN Senior Producer Henry Schuster
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(CNN) -- An islamic Web site has posted a video released by a group calling itself al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula of what it said was a man Osama bin Laden intended to be the 20th hijacker in the attacks on September 11, 2001.
The video, released on Tuesday, shows clips of Fawaz al-Nashmi -- also known as Turki bin Fhaid al-Mutairi. It follows by a few days another Web posting from the group that claims al-Nashmi was the man chosen by Osama bin Laden to be the 20th hijacker.
Al-Nashmi was a Saudi who later participated in a terrorist attack against oil workers in Khobar, Saudi Arabia. He was killed in a shootout with Saudi authorities in June 2004, shortly after the kidnapping and beheading of an American engineer.
A Saudi national security consultant, Nawaf Obaid, told CNN the Saudi government learned in 2003 of the claim that al-Nashmi was intended to be the 20th hijacker and informed the U.S. government.
Asked about the tape, a U.S. counterterrorism official said: "I really wouldn't make too much of this."
The official noted the 9/11 commission identified several other possible 20th hijackers. "Why should we believe this is the one?" the official asked.
He added that officials were more concerned about terrorists who are still alive.
Other people have claimed to be the intended 20th hijacker.
In an interview with the Arabic language network Al-Jazeera in 2002 before his capture, Ramzi Binalsheibh claimed he was going to be the final hijacker on United Flight 93, but said he could not get a visa.
Another man, Mohammed al-Qahtani, was also suspected of being the 20th hijacker. He attempted to enter the U.S. in the summer of 2001 but was denied entry.
He is curently being held at Guantanamo Bay detention center at a U.S. naval base in Cuba.
In its report, the 9/11 commission identified many possible 20th hijackers.
"In addition to the operatives who eventually participated in the 9/11 attacks as muscle hijackers," it wrote, "bin Ladin apparently selected at least nine other Saudis who, for various reasons, did not end up taking part in the operation: Mohamed Mani Ahmad al-Kahtani, Khalid Saeed Ahmad al-Zahrani, Ali Abd al-Rahman al-Faqasi al-Ghamdi, Saeed al-Baluchi, Qutaybah al-Najdi, Zuhair al-Thubaiti, Saeed Abdullah Saeed al-Ghamdi, Saud al-Rashid, and Mushabib al-Hamlan.
"A 10th individual, a Tunisian with Canadian citizenship named Abderraouf Jdey, may have been a candidate to participate in 9/11, or he may have been a candidate for a later attack. These candidate hijackers either backed out, had trouble obtaining needed travel documents, or were removed from the operation by the al Qaeda leadership."
Three of the four planes hijacked on 9/11 had five hijackers on board, but the fourth, United Flight 93, had only four.
CNN's Justine Redman and National Security Correspondent David Ensor contributed to this report.
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