Visions of sacrifice

The terrorists’ point of view

It’s remarkable that the media and government found the five-page letter from Mohamed Atta to his fellow hijackers remarkable. Attorney General John Ashcroft called the document’s prayers and exhortations to martyrdom “a disturbing and shocking view into the mind-set of these terrorists.” “Chilling,” “eerie” and “haunting,” said Bob Woodward. Like other major news organizations, ABC led its September 28 news show with the story, portraying the letter as a minor revelation, a confirmation that the U.S. faces an unconventional war against an irrational enemy. Muslim extremists seem actually to believe in God, pray to him, and even invoke his assistance.


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