I take the below report with a large lump of halite. Trust the _Telegraph_? Mmmmmmaybe. My bogometer hasn't pegged yet,
but it's definitely in the red. This, in particular, doesn't pass my smell test: "history should be a witness that we
are terrorists. Yes, we kill their innocents"
Bad translation? Utter tabloid fabrication to get a nice grabber lede? Hmm. The whole "innocent but not civilian" thing
is mired in tough culture and semantics matters. I have to admit I have no idea what the Koran prohibition against
collateral damage actually says, let alone _means_; I am neither a reader of Arabic nor a mullah. Then again, the West
is certainly no stranger to killing for peace.
Any Siggraph groupie has known about faking videos since _'way_ before Hollywood and Michael Crichton pumped out _Rising
Sun_. It is not out of the question that this is clever clandestine disinformation-agitprop by someone with some
render-farm time and a decent voice actor. Injection/initial distribution of such is the trickiest part.
That said, people who rise to this call, whatever its true source, make themselves "tall poppies", as the Ozzies say.
And if they want me dead, well, that clarifies my position toward them, I guess.
It is also important to be mindful that terrorism is a _technique_. It is not an ideology. It is not a country. It is a
_modality_. So Obi-L might have said exactly what's been reported.
Sorry if this is formatted poorly; I'm trying to strip out the HTML as best I can.
Looks like Binnie's taking credit for the WTC attack, after all. x-x-x-x Bin Laden: Yes, I did it
By David Bamber
(Filed: 11/11/2001) http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/11/11/wbin11.xml
OSAMA BIN LADEN has for the first time admitted that his al-Qa'eda group carried out the attacks on the World Trade
Centre and the Pentagon, the Telegraph can reveal.
In a previously undisclosed video which has been circulating for 14 days among his supporters, he confesses that
"history should be a witness that we are terrorists. Yes, we kill their innocents".
In the footage, shot in the Afghan mountains at the end of October, a smiling bin Laden goes on to say that the World
Trade Centre's twin towers were a "legitimate target" and the pilots who hijacked the planes were "blessed by Allah".
The killing of at least 4,537 people was justified, he claims, because they were "not civilians" but were working for
the American system.
Bin Laden also makes a direct personal threat against Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, for the first time, and warns
nations such as Australia, Germany and Japan to stay out of the conflict.
The video will form the centrepiece of Britain and America's new evidence against bin Laden, to be released this
The footage, to which the Telegraph obtained access in the Middle East yesterday, was not made for public release via
the al-Jazeera television network used by bin Laden for propaganda purposes in the past. It is believed to be intended
as a rallying call to al-Qa'eda members.
In the video, bin Laden says: "The Twin Towers were legitimate targets, they were supporting US economic power. These
events were great by all measurement. What was destroyed were not only the towers, but the towers of morale in that
The hijackers were "blessed by Allah to destroy America's economic and military landmarks". He freely admits to being
behind the attacks: "If avenging the killing of our people is terrorism then history should be a witness that we are
terrorists. Yes, we kill their innocents and this is legal religiously and logically."
In a contradictory section, however, bin Laden justifies killing the occupants of the Twin Towers because they were not
civilians - Islam forbids the killing of innocent civilians even in a holy war.
He says: "The towers were supposed to be filled with supporters of the economical powers of the United States who are
abusing the world. Those who talk about civilians should change their stand and reconsider their position. We are
treating them like they treated us."
Bin Laden goes on to justify his entire terror campaign. "There are two types of terror, good and bad. What we are
practising is good terror. We will not stop killing them and whoever supports them."
He directly threatens the lives of President Bush and Mr Blair. "Bush and Blair don't understand anything but the power
of force. Every time they kill us, we kill them, so the balance of terror can be achieved." He also calls on all Muslims
to join him. "It is the duty of every Muslim to fight. Killing Jews is top priority."
Bin Laden warns other nations to keep out of the conflict, implying that they could face terror attacks if they do not.
In the video, he also claims responsibility for an unspecified terrorist outrage in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which he
claims was sparked by secret messages in one of his videos.
He admits for the first time using public pronouncements on video to whip up terrorism - a danger about which the
British and American governments have warned broadcasters.
It is significant that throughout the video he uses the personal pronouns "I" and "we" to claim responsibility for the
attacks. In the past, he has spoken of the attackers only in the third person.
Bin Laden has publicly issued four previous videos since September 11, always denying carrying out the atrocities.
He now claims to have access to nuclear and chemical weapons. Bin Laden made the claims on Friday night during an
interview with the English language Pakistani newspaper Dawn.
He said: "If America used chemical or nuclear weapons against us, then we may retort with chemical and nuclear weapons.
We have the weapons as deterrent."
Defence analysts dismissed these claims. They said that although bin Laden could have access to nuclear material through
links with Pakistan or former Soviet republics, he was unlikely to have the technology to cause an explosion.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We know that he was looking for that capability. We believe he does not have
it."Emergency powers to imprison suspected international terrorists indefinitely using special closed courts will be
announced this week. The measure, which will require exemption from human rights legislation, will be used to round up
about 20 suspects hiding in Britain beyond the reach of existing laws.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:18 MDT