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New Purported Bin Laden Tape Released

Aired September 10, 2003 - 14:10   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Want to get you up to speed on something else that we are following right now here at CNN. Some new information and particularly new videotape coming into us through the Al Jazeera television network.
We are look at what we believe to be purportedly Osama bin Laden walking down a hill there as you see with his No. 2 man, Ayman Zawahiri. Once again, this coming to us from Al Jazeera, it has not been -- actually when we talked to Mike Boettcher, he said that you do recognize this to be Osama bin Laden. But we are being told that we are only looking this purportedly as him. Yes? Tell us what you know, Mike.

MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well absolutely. In addition with this video, and this is the first video actually of bin Laden, new video seen in approximately 17 months. The last time we saw bin Laden he was talking in front of an edifice, a stone area, rocky area. And his left side appeared to be injured.

We've learned subsequently from sources that he was injured during the battle of Tora Bora, surgery was performed on his shoulder. But he looked to be moving well now. According to the Al Jazeera people, they said, quote, "that he looked a bit frail, as did Zawahiri," but they accounted that to old age.

Now, as well, there are comments on this videotape which we are told runs more than one hour. It's just being released now. Reportedly the voices of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. And I'll read a few of the excerpts we have now.

We have bin Laden, reportedly bin Laden. This has to be tested to make sure, the voice. He says, "Those who don't agree with killing let them step out of the way." He goes onto say, "Those who don't want to climb mountains, let them live in pits and holes."

Later there are comments from Ayman al-Zawahiri who says, "What we've seen so far in the war is just the first skirmish. The real battle hasn't started yet. With the help of God we will cut the hand of the aggressor."

So very tough, very harsh language. They're vowing to continue the attacks against the United States, both in the context of a war between Islam and the West and the context of the current troubles in Palestine.

COLLINS: And I believe, Mike, at least moments ago, we thought we were going to be able to listen to little bit of audiotape from this video. Is it possible to do? We believe that the voice is Ayman Zawahiri. But as you say, this is not been confirmed yet. We do want to listen in to this for just a moment, though, if we could.


AYMAN AL-ZAWAHIRI (through translator): This is the second anniversary of the attacks on Washington and New York, and America is still challenging with it's crusade. They are suffering from wounds in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We say to them, we don't call for destruction and killing, but we will, with the help of God, cut hand that is extended to us with aggression. And here we would like to let you know also, and emphasize that what you've seen so far is -- are just the first skirmishes, and the real battle has not started yet.

Prepare yourself for the punishment for your crimes. We call to you stand an honest stand to recalculate your, and rethink your crimes against Muslims. And you ask for the true volume of your casualties and losses in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Now we challenge those Americans to be honest with you, but they're more coward, too coward to do that. We recommend to the mothers of the soldiers, if you'd like to see your sons, then hasten to ask your government to return them rather than coming back to you in coffins.

And here, we address our Muslim brothers in Palestine, that the wound of Palestine is bleeding in the heart of every Muslim. And with the help God, we'll not let America enjoy peace and security until the Palestinian issue is resolved.

We tell them we're on the path of Jihad, and we ask that the Muslim brothers not to be deceived by America. Palestine will not be liberated but with Jihad. So never, never let doubt give up your weapons, but rather hold fast to supporting believers and hostilities towards the nonbelievers. Never ally yourself with those who support Israel.

Those fighters in Iraq, we greet them and salute them and support them, and ask to God bless their efforts and bravery in fighting the crusaders. And we tell them God is with you and the nation is supporting you. Depend and rely on God. And attack and devour the Americans just like -- and bury them in the graveyard of Iraq.


COLLINS: In case you are just joining us, some new videotape that we've gotten in here to CNN through the Al Jazeera Television Network. Apparently, possibly that was the voice, obviously, of a translator. But speaking for Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant, second man in charge, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

What did you hear there, Mike Boettcher? I heard specifically something about supporting the fighters in Iraq. BOETTCHER: Well definitely. What they are doing there is making it clear that the Iraq is the new battleground for al Qaeda, and frankly that's what American generals and officials have been saying that various terrorist groups have infiltrated into Iraq.

This is what we know from coalition intelligence sources. Wahabists, Muslims, a radical Islam sect has been infiltrating from Saudi Arabia since the war ended. There is also infiltration from Iran to the east of Iraq and also some from Syria.

Now these represent various group, not just al Qaeda who somehow are coalescing inside the country. And what is the challenge for intelligence analysts and military commanders on the ground is to make sense on how they are coming together and if they're coordinating their tacks.

But that is a declaration of war in the United States in Iraq by al Qaeda by the top members of al Qaeda, that's what you're hearing right there.


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