Original Source: Winston-Salem Journal
Url: http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagenam...tionworld&s=1037645509161

Quote:
Bin Laden tells U.S. how to act
In videotape, he says he ordered attacks Sept. 11, can do so again

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Saturday, October 30, 2004


CAIRO, Egypt

Osama bin Laden, publicly injecting himself into the campaign four days before the presidential elections, said in a videotape broadcast yesterday that the United States can avoid another Sept. 11 attack if it stops threatening the security of Muslims.

In the part of the tape that was broadcast, bin Laden refrained from directly warning of new attacks, although he said that "there are still reasons to repeat what happened."

"Your security is not in the hands of Kerry, Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in your own hands," bin Laden said, referring to the president and his Democratic opponent. "Any state that does not mess with our security, has naturally guaranteed its own security."

Admitting for the first time that he ordered the Sept. 11 attacks, bin Laden said he did so because of injustices against the Lebanese and Palestinians by Israel and the United States.

In what appeared to be conciliatory language, bin Laden said he wanted to explain why he ordered the suicide airline hijackings that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon so that Americans would know how to act to prevent another attack.

"To the American people, my talk is to you about the best way to avoid another Manhattan," he said. "I tell you: Security is an important element of human life and free people do not give up their security."

After the video was broadcast, President Bush said that "Americans will not be intimidated" by bin Laden. Sen. John Kerry criticized Bush for failing to capture bin Laden earlier and said, "I can run a more effective war on terror."

The political effect of the tape could cut both ways. It supports Bush's argument that the world is a dangerous place and plays to his strength as commander in chief in fighting the war on terrorism, but it is also a reminder that his administration has failed to capture or kill America's No. 1 enemy more than three years after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

It was the first footage in more than a year of bin Laden, the fugitive al-Qaida leader, thought to be hiding in the mountains along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The video, broadcast on Al-Jazeera television, showed bin Laden with a long, gray beard, wearing traditional white robes, a turban and a golden cloak, standing behind a table with papers and in front of a plain, brown curtain.

His hands were steady and he appeared healthy.

The Bush administration said it believes that the videotape is authentic and was made recently, noting that bin Laden referred to 1,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq - a number reached in early September.

The spokesman for the White House, Scott McClellan, said that the administration did not plan to raise the nation's threat level for now.

He said that the 18-minute tape - which carries English subtitles, though not in the part shown on Al-Jazeera - lacks an explicit threat and repeats well-worn themes.

Al-Jazeera, which is based in Qatar, broadcast about seven minutes of the tape. The station's spokesman, Jihad Ali Ballout, said that Al-Jazeera broadcast what was "newsworthy and relevant" and declined to describe the parts that were not broadcast, including whether they contained any threats. Ballout said that the station got the tape yesterday but would not say how.

Before the tape was broadcast, the State Department asked the government of Qatar to discourage Al-Jazeera from broadcasting it, a senior State Department official said.

In the video, bin Laden accused Bush of misleading Americans by saying that the attack was carried out because al-Qaida "hates freedom." He said that his followers have left alone countries that do not threaten Muslims.

"We fought you because we are free ... and want to regain freedom for our nation. As you undermine our security we undermine yours," bin Laden said.

He said he was first inspired to attack the United States by the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon in which towers and buildings in Beirut were destroyed in the siege of the capital.

"While I was looking at these destroyed towers in Lebanon, it sparked in my mind that the tyrant should be punished with the same and that we should destroy towers in America, so that it tastes what we taste and would be deterred from killing our children and women," he said.

"God knows that it had not occurred to our mind to attack the towers, but after our patience ran out and we saw the injustice and inflexibility of the American-Israeli alliance toward our people in Palestine and Lebanon, this came to my mind," he said.

Bin Laden suggested that Bush was slow to react to the Sept. 11 attacks, giving the hijackers more time than they expected. At the time of the attacks, Bush was listening to schoolchildren in Florida reading a book.

"It never occurred to us that the commander in chief of the American armed forces would leave 50,000 of his citizens in the two towers to face these horrors alone," he said, referring to the number of people who worked at the World Trade Center.

"It appeared to him (Bush) that a little girl's talk about her goat and its butting was more important than the planes and their butting of the skyscrapers. That gave us three times the required time to carry out the operations, thank God," he said.

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