Monday, Sept 15, 2008
Ten years of messages and interviews with al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden have been leaked. Translated by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the documents were posted on a blog Friday.
Posted to Secrecy News blog on September 12, and copied to similar sites like Wikileaks.org, the ten years of messages span from 1994-2004. The packet, issued in 2004, is nearly 300 pages, and labeled “official use only”. It was translated by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), a division of the CIA, and includes interviews with bin Laden from various news agencies and also includes messages he sent directly to the United States.
One message includes bin Laden’s denial of having anything to do with the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.
“Following the latest explosions in the United States, some Americans are pointing the finger at me, but I deny that because I have not done it. The United States has always accused me of these incidents which have been caused by its enemies. Reiterating once again, I say that I have not done it, and the perpetrators have carried this out because of their own interest,” said bin Laden on September 16, 2001, just five days after the attacks.
(Article continues below)
Bin Laden also states that he was living in Afghanistan at the time of the attacks and that “I have held talks with His Eminence Amir ol-Momenin [Taleban leader Mola Mohammad Omar Mojahed], who does not allow such acts to be carried out from Afghanistan’s territory.” Again on September 28, 2001 in an interview with Karachi Ummat, bin Laden denies any involvement with the attacks and further denied that al-Qaeda had anything to do with plotting and carrying out the attacks.
However, in May, just four months prior to the September 11 attacks, bin Laden reportedly says that if the Taliban allows him, he can make life for Americans very difficult.
“If the Taleban allowed, [I] could make life miserable for the United States. The United States [is] imposing unjust sanctions on Muslims. Imposing such sanctions and boasting of power [is] a US hobby. The U.S. will fall to pieces,” stated bin Laden which was quoted by ANN on May 17, 2001. Five years before, bin Laden declared a “jihad” on the U.S..
In April of 2002, the television station London MBC said it obtained a video reportedly showing bin Laden and an al-Qaeda spokesman praising the 9/11 attacks. It also allegedly showed, for the first time, images of some of the members of al-Qaeda responsible for hijacking the aircraft used in the attacks.
The U.S has never charged or indicted bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks, but has indicted him on charges for allegedly being behind the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1998.
Bin Laden also blames the U.S. for the bombings in China in 1997 saying that the U.S. was trying to “to sabotage relations between China and the Muslim world through the CIA.” He then goes on to say that he would “promise” to bring “action in the understanding between Pakistan, Iran and China.”
The current whereabouts of bin Laden are not known.