Monday, October 8, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Osama praises WTC attacks

Cairo, October 7
Osama bin Laden, the no. 1 suspect in the terror attacks for which America retaliated with a missile assault on Afghanistan tonight, praised God for the September 11 strikes that toppled New York’s World Trade Center.

“America was hit by God in one of its softest spots. America is full of fear from its north to its south, from its west to its east. Thank god for that,” he said into microphone in a video shown today on Al-Jazeera, the Arabic satellite station.

Laden was shown dressed in fatigues and an Afghan headdress, sitting in a stone cave and flanked by two aides. It was not clear when the video was made, but it was made during the day time and referred to September 11 attacks, but not to retaliation by the USA and Britain.

Although he praises the attacks, he did not claim responsibility.

It was the first time Bin Laden has spoken about the September 11 attacks.

The video opened with an aide, the spokesman for Laden’s Al-Qaida group, reading an opening statement.

“What happened in the USA is a natural reaction to ignorant policy,” the statement read by Suleiman Abu Gheit said.

“If it continues with this policy, the sons of Islam will not stop their struggle. The American people have to know that what is happening to them now is the result of their support of this policy,” the statement said.

“The war against Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden is a war on Islam.”

The Qatar-based independent TV network has been frequently airing exclusive footage of Bin Laden, prompting the USA to raise concerns about Al-Jazeera’s coverage during a meeting with the Emir of Qatar in Washington on Wednesday. AP

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