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bin liner tapes authentic

  1. looney

    1,035 posts.
    It's him: bin Laden tapes 'authentic'
    From correspondents in Washington
    November 13, 2002

    AMERICAN officials believe the voice of Osama bin Laden is on a tape that threatens Australia and hails the Bali bombings.

    US officials say a preliminary analysis of the tape, which was broadcast by Al-Jazeera TV, had found it to be genuine.

    "It's him," two senior officials from different agencies told NBC News as the Central Intelligence Agency continued to analyse the recording.

    A third official, who also spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity, said: "We believe it could well be him and there is no apparent reason to suggest that it's not him."

    If formally confirmed as bin Laden's voice, the tape would be the first indication since the beginning of the year that the leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, blamed for the September 11 attacks, is still alive.

    In the tape, the speaker hailed the Bali bombing, which occurred one month ago, and threatened the United States and its allies, including Australia.

    He lashed out at US President George W. Bush, calling him the "pharaoh of the century," and at his key allies, whom he called "murderers."

    "As you assassinate, so will you be (assassinated), and as you bomb so will you likewise be," the tape said, against the background of a photograph of the Al-Qaeda terror network's leader, in turban and khaki jacket, a rifle at his side.

    In the message to "the peoples of countries allied to the United States," he warned them against the "alliance between their governments and the United States to attack us in Afghanistan."

    He cited "Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Germany and Australia."

    "What has happened since the conquests of New York and Washington up until now - like the operations on Germans in Tunisia, the explosion of the French tanker in Yemen, on the French in Karachi, the operations against the (US) Marines in Failaka (Kuwait), on Australians and Britons in the explosions in Bali, as well as the recent hostage-taking in Moscow and other operations here and there - were nothing but the response of Muslims eager to defend their religion and respond to the order of God and their Prophet.

    On October 12, a car-bombing in the Indonesian tourist resort of Bali left more than 190 people dead, including at least 100 Australians.

    Four days earlier, a US Marine was killed and another wounded when Islamist gunmen opened fire on soldiers during military maneuvers on the Kuwaiti island of Failaka.

    And on October 6, a French oil tanker was holed by a bomb off the coast of Yemen, and a Bulgarian sailor killed.

    The reference to Karachi was to the killing on May 8 of 14 people, including 11 French, on a bus, while that to Tunisia was of the bombing of a synagogue in Jerba in which 21 people, including 14 Germans, died on April 11.

    "Australia was warned about its participation (in the war) in Afghanistan and its ignoble contribution to the separation of East Timor (from Indonesia). But it ignored this warning until it was awakened by the echoes of explosions in Bali," the speaker said.

    On October 23, Chechen separatists took several hundred people hostage in a Moscow theatre. When Russian special forces moved in three days later, 128 hostages died as well as the 41 hostage-takers.

    With the exception of the Moscow incident, all the others have been attributed to al-Qaeda.

    "If you suffer to see your (people) killed and those of your allies in Tunisia, in Karachi, in Falaika, Bali and Amman, remember our (people) killed among the children of Palestine, in Iraq ... and in Afghanistan," the speaker said.

    "As you look at your dead in Moscow, also recall ours in Chechnya.

    "For how long will fear, massacres, destruction, exile, orphanhood and widowhood be our lot, while security, stability and joy remain your domain alone," he asked.

    "What Bush, the pharaoh of the century, did by murdering our children in Iraq and what Israel, the ally of America, did in bombing houses of the elderly, women and children in Palestine, using American planes, was enough for the wise among your leaders to distance themselves from this criminal gang."

    He went on: "Our people in Palestine have been massacred and subjected to the worst of suffering for nearly a century.

    "If we defend our people in Palestine, the world gets agitated and coalesces against Muslims under the cover of the war against terrorism, unjustly and in a false way.

    "Do your governments not know that the clique in the White House is made up of the greatest murderers of the century?"

    Among them, the speaker characterised US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as the "butcher of Vietnam who has killed more than two million people."

    Saying such an imbalance had come to an end, he added, "It is high time that equality be established to this effect," promising more terrorist operations against Western targets by young Muslims "committed before God to pursue Jihad (holy war)."

    The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera's did not provide any details on how it obtained the tape but said it showed that bin Laden was still alive at least until the Moscow hostage-taking in late October or the October 28 killing of a US diplomat in Amman.

    On October 6, Al-Jazeera broadcast what it said was another recording of the al-Qaeda chief in which he issued a new threat to strike US economic interests until Washington renounced its "injustice and hostility" toward Arabs and Muslims.

    Ever since the US-led attack on Afghanistan late last year, there has been debate on whether bin Laden, who was in hiding there, had survived those attacks.

    A former Afghan commander said in Pakistan on Monday that bin Laden was still alive and hiding in Afghanistan.

    Agence France-Presse



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