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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Bin Laden, No. 2 Praise 9/11 Hijackers

Aired September 10, 2003 - 14:43   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: We want to go ahead and bring in Nic Robertson. He's standing by live for us in Baghdad now.
Nic, what do you make of all this? Have you been able to hear some of the sounds that we've been able to broadcast today?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I certainly have, and it certainly rings true with what we've been finding or what we've been finding when we've been talking to analysts specifically about the Iraq situation.

Just a week ago, I was up on the border with Syria and Iraq with a group from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment patrolling the border because that's they where they think a lot of these foreign fighters or would be terrorists, perhaps members or affiliated with al Qaeda are coming into Iraq. They do believe that they have caught some people who have had al Qaeda training. They say recently they caught four men and immediately after, the sophistication and the number of attacks against the troops in that particular area on the border, went down significantly. The conclusion they drew was that these foreign fighters are coming into Iraq. They are coming to target the U.S. soldiers and they do have al Qaeda training.

When I asked them how do you know this is al Qaeda training, they said the sophistication of the attack. They told me there was an example where they had been ambushed. The ambush consisted of a number of artillery shells, daisey chained in such a way to go off sequentially as a patrol went by, laying in wait for the patrol where it was ambushed where men with rocket propelled grenades, people with machine guns to attack the soldier. They say fortunately, it didn't go as planned for their attackers and soldiers weren't injured. But they do say that they conclude from this that al Qaeda or at least people they have trained are penetrating Iraq. And just in the last 24 hours that same border patrol area, up on the border with Syria, came under three sustained attacks, we're told, against armored vehicles of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Nic, we want to go ahead and listen into some more sound now. We are slowly getting more and more from this tape. This to be purportedly from Osama bin Laden and, of course, the translator. Let's listen to this new sound.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

OSAMA BIN LADEN (through translator): this is believed and for everything there's a truth and the truth of this the brave person's Saed Ramadeh (ph) and his brothers was an indication for the true of his belief by giving themselves, their souls and their heads for the way of Allah. And they -- they inflicted damage on the enemy. When they went to the practical implication of radicals (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to support the religion and they threw away all the disbelievers' solutions. The solutions of the United Nations and the disbelieving Parliament and the resolutions of the disbelieving rulers, those who made of themselves Gods. They also did not pay attention to the helpless or useless resolutions. Those resolutions that came from people who are very busy with their money and they were deceived by themselves as if they were preparing for -- for fighting and defending. There's a wide -- there's a big distance between those who think that jihad is risking a soul and they are deceived by Satan to sit back and not do jihad, and that distance is also between those who look to the battlefield as a way to buy paradise with wide open doors. They are afraid that those doors would be closed if they're late even by one minute.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Nic Robertson in Baghdad, what are your thoughts on these latest words, possibly, again, from Osama bin Laden?

ROBERTSON: Well, it's certainly words that are going to or would likely inspire anybody who would want to come and attack coalition forces, particularly the U.S. forces here.

I talked a few days ago with a Saudi dissident. He told me he thought as many as 3,000 young men could have come from Saudi Arabia into Iraq. That was a maximum figure. He didn't have an exact figure. But he thought they would be coming not necessarily with a sophisticated objective that al Qaeda might have, but coming with a simple objective of fulfilling a jihad, that of coming here to fight against the U.S. forces, not caring if they died in the process.

So there -- it certainly would resonate with people who think along those lines. It is the view of many analysts that the situation right now in Iraq is conducive for al Qaeda and that does seem to be borne out in these statements, calling it the battlefield here.

COLLINS: Nic Robertson live in Baghdad. We appreciate your insight on all of this from where you are today.

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