Some analysts in the Middle East say a videotaped
statement from Osama bin Laden broadcast Friday
marks the first time the al-Qaida leader has taken
direct responsibility for the 2001 terrorist attacks
on New York and Washington. Ursula Lindsey in Cairo
spoke to some analysts there, and has this report.
Mohamed Abdel Moneim Saiid, the head of the al-Ahram
Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo,
says Osama bin Laden has taken full responsibility
for the September 11th attacks for the first time.
Some in the Arab world have theorized that the attacks
were carried out by Israel's secret service or by the
|Osama bin Laden seen in
videotape released Oct. 29, 2004
"Here, he is talking about: 'we planned it, we made
it, for so and so and so.' And that is a very big,
I would say, confession," he said. :And that will
be a big blow to many of the conspiracy theorists
in the Arab world."
Mr. Saiid says the terrorist leader's main message
to the American people is that the conflict between
al-Qaida and America is based on U.S. policies in
"[He says] His animosity toward the United States
is coming from its policies, which, in my opinion,
is a new departure of his previous discourse, in
which he emphasized kind of an eternal struggle between
Muslims and non-Muslims," he said. "This time, he
is talking about policies."
bin Laden speaks in his statement of what he calls "the
injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance
against our people, in Palestine and Lebanon."
Mr. Saiid says that, although there are no overt
threats in the message, it contains an implied ultimatum.
Expert on Islamic affairs and columnist for the
the al-Ahram newspaper Fahmy Howeidi says Osama bin
Laden's statement has two main goals.
"He is hoping for two things," he said. "Number
One, he wanted to tell the people that he is still
there. He is still challenging [President] Bush and
all his allies in the area. Number Two he is trying
to convince people that, if they do not vote for
[Mr.] Bush they will be more safe, more secure."
The statement was delivered four days before the
U.S. presidential election. Both President Bush and
Senator John Kerry, his challenger in Tuesday's election,
say they are fully committed to tracking down and
capturing Osama bin Laden. They both vowed to defeat