Nic Robertson on bin Laden letter
(CNN) -- Arabic-language news network Al Jazeera broadcast on Thursday the contents of a letter allegedly sent to the station by Osama bin Laden. Although its veracity could not be confirmed, the network said it believed the signature on the letter was authentic.
Bin Laden is the man suspected by the United States of being the mastermind behind the September 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington.
CNN's Nic Robertson, traveling through Afghanistan, filed this report.
ROBERTSON: That letter was delivered to Al Jazeera's news office in Kabul. The letter was delivered by hand, and it was signed by Osama bin Laden. Now, Al Jazeera believes that signature to be authentic. They've seen it, they say, on letters from Osama bin Laden before. And it is also matched by letters and documents used in the World Trade Center bombing trial.
The letter says that Muslims are being killed in Afghanistan, and that Pakistan is siding (with those) under the Christian banner. And the letter goes on to say that President Bush is heading that Christian banner.
The letter goes on to say that this is a costly affair, the killing of Muslims. It is dividing the world into two communities. One community, it says, under President Bush, and the other under the banner of Islam. The letter also quotes from the Koran. It calls on unity in Muslims. It says that Muslims are brothers and that brothers should stand by one another. And it says that Pakistan, at this time, is standing under the Christian banner headed by President Bush.
The letter is authentic, as far as Al Jazeera is concerned, because of Osama bin Laden's signature. Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based news organization, has received letters and videotapes through the al Qaeda organization of Osama bin Laden before.
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