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Monday, September 17, 2001


From this article in the New York Times, re. one of the hijackers ("Mr. Atta"):

According to his professor, Dittmar Machule, and two of his best German friends, who spent almost three months with Mr. Atta in Cairo in 1995, he was a man of deep intelligence and religious belief who began to grow very angry.

Ralph Bodenstein, one of the friends invited to Cairo, described Mr. Atta's father as a well-off lawyer and said Mr. Atta became more open and relaxed in Egypt, but also increasingly angry about Western policy toward the Middle East.

"He was not anti-Western in a cultural sense," Mr. Bodenstein said in a telephone interview from Beirut, where he is doing doctoral research. "He was shocked by the Oslo process and the role of the United Nations and the United States and the European powers in the gulf war. It depressed a lot of people, that this war was being waged for Western interests, and that even their own government in Egypt was selling out the interests of the people to gain material advantages."

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com