(Reuters) - The world's most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, issued a dramatic
videotaped statement on Sunday praising the September 11 suicide-hijackers and
said America would not live in peace until Palestinians could do the same. Bin
Laden, calling President Bush the "head of the infidels," expressed
support for the attack on targets in New York and Washington that killed about
has been filled with horror from north to south and east to west, and thanks be
to God what America is tasting now is only a copy of what we have tasted,"
bin Laden said in his first verified statement since the attacks.
Islamic nation has been tasting the same for more 80 years," he said in a
statement transmitted just two hours after the United States and Britain began
statement to Qatar's al-Jazeera television, filmed against a rocky background
with an assault rifle at his side, did not claim responsibility for the
September 11 attacks.
has previously issued statements through associates denying he was behind them.
swear to God to that America will not live in peace before peace reigns in
Palestine," bin Laden said.
has blessed a group of vanguard Muslims to destroy America ... and may God bless
them and allot them a supreme place in heaven."
said the statement was videotaped after September 11 but did not give a specific
United States and Britain launched a long-anticipated attack on Afghanistan on
Sunday, bombing command bases, airports and guerrilla training camps, and
plunging Kabul into darkness and panic.
ruling Taliban, in the firing line for harboring bin Laden, defiantly declared
after the air raids that it would "fight to the last breath."
called the raids carefully targeted actions "designed to disrupt the use of
Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military
capability of the Taliban regime."
Zawahri, a top figure in bin Laden's al-Qaeda network and leader of Egypt's
Islamic Jihad, appeared in the videotape and urged Muslims to resist America.
once tried in Egypt and jailed for three years for his part in the 1981
assassination of President Anwar Sadat, has been linked to some of the suspects
in the September 11 attacks.
aide, described by Jazeera as a spokesman for bin Laden's al Qaeda group, said
the attacks happened because America supported Israel's occupation of Arab lands.
has announced its total support for the Zionist entity that has killed and
oppressed Muslims and Arabs and this is its stupid policy," the aide,
Suleiman Abu Ghaith, said.
added: "America has to know that what happened to it is a result of this
policy and it must know that if it continues this policy, then the sons of Islam
will not in any way stop waging revenge for the oppression that they suffer.
Tit-for-tit punishment is natural."
American people must know that it bears total responsibility and what has
happened to it is because of its support for this policy."