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From the Los Angeles Times

Love Letter Written by Suspected Hijacker Reportedly Surfaces

Times Staff Writer

November 18, 2001

FRANKFURT, Germany -- U.S. investigators have discovered a farewell letter in which suspected suicide hijacker Ziad Samir Jarrah expressed conflicting thoughts and murky motives for his alleged role in the Sept. 11 attacks, a German magazine reported Saturday.

The story in Der Spiegel's edition due out Monday was confirmed to a news agency here by Frauke Katrin Scheuten, spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor's office, who described the note as a love letter that never reached its intended recipient.

"I have done what I had to do," the magazine quoted from the four-page letter written by Jarrah and dated Sept. 10.

"You should be very proud because this is an honor and in the end will bring happiness to everyone."

The letter was sent to Jarrah's German-born Turkish girlfriend, Aysel Senguen, in the Ruhr valley city of Bochum but was returned to the U.S. and was recently obtained by FBI agents, the magazine reported.

It was not clear from the article or from Scheuten's comments to Associated Press in Frankfurt whether Senguen had seen the letter. Scheuten, whose office is the only authorized source of information on the Sept. 11 investigation, could not be reached late Saturday. Senguen's whereabouts are unknown; she has been in a witness protection program since shortly after the terror attacks.

The letter may never have reached Senguen because she didn't return to the apartment where it was sent and police may have overlooked mail that arrived in her absence.

A family friend has described Senguen as shocked and devastated by the events of Sept. 11 and by reports that her boyfriend of five years is believed to have had a leading role.

Jarrah, who FBI agents suspect helped hijack and pilot the United Airlines jet that crashed in rural Pennsylvania, kept in contact with Senguen during his months-long stay in Florida, where he earned a pilot's license and instrument flight rating.

The family friend, Mahmoud Ali, said that Jarrah called Senguen an hour or two before the hijackings but that she detected nothing unusual in their last conversation.

The letter, in which Jarrah reportedly tells Senguen that he will not be returning to Germany, nevertheless talks of plans for a future meeting, as Jarrah tells her to "hold on to what you have until we see each other again," Der Spiegel reported.

It wasn't clear whether Jarrah was referring to something in the small apartment they shared in Bochum or to items enclosed with the letter in the package that ended up back in the United States.

The package also contained papers about Jarrah's flight training and scuba-diving instruction, Scheuten told AP.

Jarrah, who like two other suspected suicide hijackers lived in Hamburg before leaving for flight training in the U.S., came to investigators' attention when Senguen reported him missing two days after the Sept. 11 attacks. She has been extensively interrogated, and German police seized a suitcase belonging to Jarrah during a search of the Bochum apartment. Scheuten's office said at the time of the search in mid-September that the suitcase contained "flight-related documents."

In another development in the investigation, the German weekly magazine Focus reported in an advance release about its Monday edition that a German Moroccan fugitive thought to have provided logistical assistance to the Hamburg terror cell is now believed to be in Bahrain. The suspect, 26-year-old Said Bahaji, earlier was reported to have gone to Pakistan on Sept. 2, purportedly to take a computer training course.

International arrest warrants have been issued by federal prosecutor Kay Nehm for Bahaji and two other Hamburg men, Ramsi Binalshibh, 29, of Yemen and Zakariya Essabar, 24, of Morocco.

Copyright © 2004, The Los Angeles Times

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