Friday, September 12, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Al-Qaida vows more attacks
Al-Jazeera shows Bin Laden tape
Firouz Sedarat

Dubai, September 11
Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden made a surprise appearance in a videotape to mark the September 11 attacks, along with his top aide who urged fighters to turn Iraq into a graveyard for the American troops.

Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri, his right-hand man, were shown in a rare tape obtained by Al-Jazeera Arabic television yesterday, descending a rocky mountainside as they steadied themselves with walking sticks, automatic rifles slung over their shoulders.

“To our struggling brothers in Iraq: we greet you and we pray to God to be on your side in fighting the crusaders,” Ayman al-Zawahri, or someone sounding very much like him, said on the tape.

“God is with you and the entire nation supports you. Rely on God and devour the Americans just as lions do with their prey, and bury them in the graveyard of Iraq.”

The tape had an audio message said to be from Saudi-born Bin Laden in which he praised the 19 suicide hijackers who flew planes into New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington two years ago on Thursday.

“Whoever wants to be taught about loyalty and honesty should have known them (the attackers)... They were the most honest and the bravest,” he said.

Bin Laden said the panic caused by the attacks made “people wake up from their slumber and rise for jehad (holy war)”.

Islamic songs echoed in the background on his audio tape.

The CIA and analysts around the world immediately began poring over the tapes to gauge their authenticity and scour them for clues of when and where they might have been made. Al-Jazeera said the video was probably filmed in April or May.

Messages from Al-Qaida leaders are often seen as a signal to supporters to mount attacks. FBI and US Homeland Security officials warned last week of the threat of more Al-Qaida attacks on the USA.

Zawahri said US efforts to crush Al-Qaida had failed and the network had instead grown in the past two years. He promised more attacks to “punish” the USA.

“This is the second anniversary of the New York and Washington invasions which defied America and its crusade from whose wounds it is still staggering in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“We tell you (America) that what you have seen so far are only the first skirmishes and the beginning of the clash. The real battle, however, has not started yet.”

US President George W. Bush said on Wednesday Al-Qaida “still plots against our people” and would be defeated.

Until Wednesday’s tape, no new video pictures of Bin Laden had been seen since April 2002, though Al-Qaida has issued several audio messages over the last year.

The sudden appearances were meant to mark the September 11 attacks in which more than 2,800 persons had died. “We believe he is alive, but we can’t tell you when the picture was shot or when the audio was recorded,” a US intelligence official told Reuters.


Musharraf says he is no traitor

Islamabad, September 11
Rejecting the contention that he was a “traitor” as contained in a tape purportedly from the Al-Qaida terror network, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf today said he was doing his best to fight terrorism.

Appearing on an interactive programme of the BBC website, Mr Musharraf said his government was cracking down on Islamic religious schools, which are seen as a breeding ground for Islamic militancy.

He said the Pakistani authorities had done their best to capture Al-Qaida chief Osama Bin laden and his associates, who he thought were somewhere along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. — PTI

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