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Don't cry for me, says Atta in will

BERLIN, OCT. 3. Mohammed Atta, the man believed to have steered the first plane to hit the World Trade Center, pledged to die a good Muslim and ordered that no women should be present at his burial, according to a leaked copy of his will.

The will, found together with a four-page letter in a piece of luggage belonging to the suspected suicide hijacker at Boston's Logan airport, was written in April 1996 and contains strict instrucions on how Atta's death should be treated. FBI sources in Washington said such a will was not being released in the U.S. capital on Tuesday.

``No one should cry for me, scream or tear his clothes and beat his face - those are foolish gestures,'' says the will, translated into German and printed by the news magazine Der Spiegel. ``Neither pregnant women nor unclean people should say goodbye to me - I reject that.'' The will follows publication last week by the U.S. Attorney-General, Mr. John Ashcroft of a letter containing Islamic prayers and instructions linking the suspected hijackers on three of four planes that crashed in deadly suicide attacks on September 11.

The letter contained warnings to fellow hijackers to know the plan well and a pledge of allegiance to death. Atta's will is a list of 18 instructions. Number eight reads: ``Those who wash my body must be good Muslims. And there should not be too many people, unless it is absolutely necessary.'' Atta also writes: ``My clothes must be of three pieces of white material, but not of silk or any other expensive material.'' Another instruction says: ``Women must not be present at my funeral or go to my grave at any later date.''

Atta requests that during his burial earth should be thrown on his body three times with the words: ``You come from dust, you are dust and you return to dust. And from the dust a new person will be created.'' ``After that everyone should call God's name and testify that I died as a Muslim, believing in God's religion. All who take part in my burial should pray for my forgiveness,'' the will said.

The Egyptian spent eight years as a student at Hamburg's technical university, where he graduated with top marks for a dissertation on ``City planning in the Syrian town of Aleppo''. Some who remember Atta in Hamburg said the only remarkable thing about him was that he avoided alcohol and women - he wouldn't even shake a woman's hand. Atta's will also says: ``People should stay at my grave for an hour so that I can enjoy their company. An animal should then be sacrificed and the meat be distributed among the needy.'' The passenger manifest showed that Atta, a pilot, was on board American Airlines flight 11, the first of two to hit the WTC on September 11.

- Reuters

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