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Video shows laughing 9/11 hijackers in Afghan hideout

Story Highlights

• Sunday Times' Web site shows video of two 9/11 hijackers
• Mohammed Atta, Ziad Jarrah, seen joking, then reading serious messages
• No audio on tape; lip-readers have not been able to decipher what they're saying
• Intelligence officials say they were already aware of the videotape
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- In January, 2000, two of the hijackers in the September 11, 2001, attacks were at one of Osama bin Laden's hideouts in Afghanistan, talking and laughing -- and then apparently reading their martyrdom messages for a video camera, according to video seen by the public for the first time Sunday.

The Sunday Times, a British newspaper, posted the video, which contains no sound, on its Web site.

Clips show Mohammed Atta, ringleader of the 9/11 attacks, alongside Ziad Jarrah, the hijacker of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. (Watch part of the video -- 3:53)

A U.S. intelligence official told CNN the intelligence community has been aware of the video for some time.

The video does not appear to contain any revelations, but the newspaper said it marks the first time "that a videotape has appeared of Mohammed Atta -- who flew an American Airlines plane into the north tower of the World Trade Center -- at a training camp in Afghanistan. It fills in a significant gap in the timing of the buildup to the attacks on the United States."

The video is date-stamped January 18, 2000.

Yosri Fouda, who authored the Sunday Times article, told CNN it was "chilling" to see the video. "Nobody has ever seen even a single frame of especially the pilots anywhere in the world, let alone in Afghanistan," he said.

The article said the paper obtained the video "through a previously tested channel. The tape has no soundtrack and a U.S. source said lip-readers had tried without success to decipher what was being said."

The Times posted the video, which lasts about an hour, in five sections on its Web site. One section shows al Qaeda leader bin Laden delivering a speech at the hideout near Kandahar. Another shows Atta and Jarrah talking, smiling, and laughing before turning to the camera and reading written messages in a somber fashion.


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Ziad Jarrah, left, and Mohammed Atta appear together on the videotape obtained by The Sunday Times.

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