It was by chance, on a bus, that the Brazilian Simone Duarte met the pakistani Baker Atyani, journalist who interviewed Osama bin Laden in June 2001, two months before the 9/11 attacks. baker is one of the characters in the book “The Wind Has Changed Direction: The 9/11 The World Has Not Seen”, compilation of stories from victims of the War on Terror. Simone, author of the book, headed the TV Globo from New York and narrated live the attack on the Twin Towers. She is baker were the interviewees in the conversation with bial of Monday, 30/8, which discussed the 20 years of the tragedy.
Baker Atyani tells about the interview with Osama Bin Laden and about being kidnapped
veteran journalist, baker covered several conflict zones and specializes in extremist groups in Asia. In 2001 he was contacted by a representative of the al-Qaeda, offering the interview with osama, who was already one of the most wanted men in the world. He accepted the proposal and was taken to the Afghan hideout, where he spoke with bin Laden and with the number 2 of the organization, Ayman Al-Zawahiri. It was this who announced that the al-Qaeda would make brief attacks on American territory.
In June 2012, beker was attracted by the possibility of interviewing the leader of the Abu Sayyaf, the Philippines’ most dangerous and violent Islamic separatist group. He ended up being taken hostage by the militants and spent a year and a half in captivity, in different camps in the middle of the jungle. He managed to escape on December 4, 2013 and has since commemorated two anniversaries: his birth date, October 16, and his release date, December 4th. “It was a difficult time,” he summed up.
Palestinian journalist Baker Atyani talks with Pedro Bial — Photo: Reproduction/TV Globo
He says he was surprised by the Taliban’s recent takeover in Afghanistan.
“I was basically surprised by two things. First, how quickly the capital was taken and how the Afghan army, police and law enforcement were dismantled. Not only did they disappear, they were dismantled. And how the president left Afghanistan to the Taliban . It was surprising, shocking and it changed the whole situation in the country.”