ABU DHABI ø Osama Bin Laden threatened American voters with another massive Al Qaida strike, in his first video appearance in more
than a year.
Bin Laden discussed the U.S. presidential campaign, in a videotape broadcast on Oct. 29, and did not rule out mass-casualty suicide strikes
such as those that took place on Sept. 11, 2001, Middle East Newsline reported.
U.S. officials said the Bin Laden tape appeared authentic and was
produced over the last two months. They said the State Department had
requested that Qatar prevent the broadcasting of the tape on the eve of the
But Qatar and A-Jazeera refused. An A-Jazeera spokesman said the tape
''I don't think anybody would disagree as to the high news value of the
Bin Laden tape,'' A-Jazeera spokesman Jihad Ali Ballout said in a statement.
Bin Laden blamed U.S.
support for Israel for the 9/11 attacks, in which more than 3,000 people
In his first acknowledgement of the 9/11 attacks, Bin Laden said the
plan to hijack passenger jets and crash them into the World Trade Center and
Defense Department was conceived and carried out by Mohammed Atta. He said
the Al Qaida strikes took President George Bush and his administration by
"Even as you enter the fourth year after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush is
still misleading and deluding you and hiding the real reason from you," Bin
Laden said in the tape broadcast by A-Jazeera television. "Consequently,
there are still reasons to repeat what took place."
Bin Laden, believed located along the Afghan-Pakistani border, said he
was angered by U.S. support of Israel and what he termed the Israeli
injustice against Lebanese and Palestinians. He also dismissed the
significance of the current U.S. presidential campaign.
"Your security is not in the hands of [Democratic challenger John]
Kerry, Bush or Al Qaida," Bin Laden said in the 18-minute tape, seven
minutes of which was broadcast. "Your security is in your own hands. Any
state that does not tangle with our security naturally guarantees its own
Bin Laden reviewed U.S. policy in the Middle East since 1982, when
invaded Lebanon. He said the United States, through the navy's Sixth Fleet,
helped the Israeli military operation against the PLO.
The Al Qaida leader focused on Bush and his father, president from 1989
to 1993. Bin Laden said both the current and former presidents were
attracted to Arab despots until they began to resemble them.
"This resemblance became clear in the visits by Bush, the father, to the
region," Bin Laden said. "He wound up being impressed by the royal and
military regimes and envied them for staying in their positions for decades
embezzling national funds without supervision."
"He passed on tyranny and oppression to his son, and they called it the
Patriot Act, under the pretext of fighting terrorism," Bin Laden continued.
"Bush, the father, did well in placing his sons as governors and did not
forget to pass on his expertise in fraud from the leaders of the [Middle
region to Florida for use in critical moments."