- The Washington Times - Friday, December 14, 2001

Excerpts from the videotape released yesterday by the Pentagon, showing fugitive terrorist Osama bin Laden discussing with an unidentified sheik the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
The transcript and annotations were prepared independently by George Michael, translator, Diplomatic Language Services; and Kassem M. Wahba, Arabic language program coordinator, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. Names in brackets have been rendered phonetically.

Sheik: You have given us weapons, you have given us hope and we thank Allah for you. We don't want to take much of your time, but this is the arrangement of the brothers. People now are supporting us more, even those ones who did not support us in the past, support us more now. We praise Allah, we praise Allah. We came from Kabul. [E]verybody praises what you did, the great action you did, which was first and foremost by the grace of Allah. This is the guidance of Allah and the blessed fruit of jihad.
Bin Laden: Thanks to Allah. What is the stand of the mosques [in Saudi Arabia]?
Sheik: Honestly, they are very positive. Sheik Al-[Bahrani] gave a good sermon in his class after the sunset prayers. It was videotaped and I was supposed to carry it with me, but unfortunately, I had to leave immediately.
Bin Laden: The day of the events?
Sheik: At the exact time of the attack on America, precisely at the time. [Bahrani] gave a very impressive sermon. Thanks be to Allah for his blessings. [Bahrani] was the first one to write at war time. I visited him twice in Al-Qasim.
Bin Laden: Thanks be to Allah.
Sheik: This is what I asked from Allah. [Bahrani] told the youth: "You are asking for martyrdom and wonder where you should go [for martyrdom]?" Allah was inciting them to go.
Bin Laden: Thanks be to Allah.
Sheik: His position is really very encouraging. When I paid him the first visit, about a year and half ago, he asked me, "How is Sheik bin Laden?" He sends you his special regards. As far as Sheik Sulayman [Ulwan] is concerned, he gave a beautiful fatwa, may Allah bless him. [Ulwan] said this was jihad and those people [killed in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks] were not innocent people . He swore to Allah. This was transmitted to Sheik Sulayman Al [Umar]. Allah bless him.

'A strong horse'
Bin Laden: When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse. This is only one goal; those who want people to worship the lord of the people, without following that doctrine, will be following the doctrine of Muhammad, peace be upon him.
(Bin Laden quotes several short and incomplete Hadith verses, as follows):
"I was ordered to fight the people until they say there is no god but Allah, and his prophet Muhammad."
"Some people may ask: why do you want to fight us?"
"There is an association between those who say: I believe in one god and Muhammad is his prophet, and those who don't.
"Those who do not follow the true fiqh (law). The fiqh of Muhammad, the real fiqh. They are just accepting what is being said at face value."
Those youths who conducted the [September 11] operations did not accept any fiqh in the popular terms, but they accepted the fiqh that the prophet Muhammad brought. Those young men said in deeds, in New York and Washington, speeches that overshadowed all other speeches made everywhere else in the world. The speeches are understood by both Arabs and non-Arabs, even by Chinese.
It is above all the media said. Some of them said that in the Netherlands, at one of the centers, the number of people who accepted Islam during the days that followed the [September 11] operations were more than the people who accepted Islam in the last 11 years. I heard someone on Islamic radio who owns a school in America say: "We don't have time to keep up with the demands of those who are asking about Islamic books to learn about Islam." This event made people think [about true Islam], which benefited Islam greatly.
Sheik: Hundreds of people used to doubt you and only few would follow you until this huge event happened. Now hundreds of people are coming out to join you.

'Calculated in advance'
Bin Laden: We calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy, who would be killed based on the position of the [World Trade Center] tower. We calculated that the floors that would be hit would be three or four floors. I was the most optimistic of them all. Because of my experience in this field, I was thinking that the fire from the gas in the plane would melt the iron structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it only. This is all that we had hoped for.
Sheik: Allah be praised.
Bin Laden: We were at (inaudible) when the event took place. We had notification since the previous Thursday that the event would take place that day. We had finished our work that day and had the radio on. It was 5:30 p.m. our time. I was sitting with Dr. Ahmad Abu-al-[Khair]. Immediately, we heard the news that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. We turned the radio station to the news from Washington. The news continued and [there was] no mention of the attack until the end. At the end of the newscast, they reported that a plane just hit the World Trade Center.
Sheik: Allah be praised.
Bin Laden: After a little while, they announced that another plane had hit the World Trade Center.
Sheik: I listened to the news and I was sitting. [A]ll of a sudden the news came and everyone was overjoyed and everyone, until the next day, in the morning, was talking about what was happening and we stayed until 4 o'clock, listening to the news, every time a little bit different, everyone was very joyous and saying, "Allah is great," "Allah is great," "We are thankful to Allah," "Praise Allah." And I was happy for the happiness of my brothers.
No doubt it is a clear victory. Allah has bestowed honor on us and he will give us blessing and more victory during this holy month of Ramadan.
Thank Allah America came out of its caves. We hit her the first hit and the next one will hit her with the hands of the believers. By Allah it is a great work. Allah prepares for you a great reward for this work. In these days, in our times, that it will be the greatest jihad in the history of Islam and the resistance of the wicked people. We congratulate you for the great work. Thank Allah.

'A good omen'
From another section of the tape:
Bin Laden: Abdallah Azzam, Allah bless his soul, told me not to record anything so I thought that was a good omen, and Allah will bless us. Abu-Al-Hasan Al-[Masri], who appeared on Al-Jazeera TV a couple of days ago and addressed the Americans, saying: "If you are true men, come down here and face us." He told me a year ago: "I saw in a dream, we were playing a soccer game against the Americans. When our team showed up in the field, they were all pilots." He said: "So I wondered if that was a soccer game or a pilot game? Our players were pilots." [Abu-Al-Hasan] didn't know anything about the operation until he heard it on the radio. He said the game went on and we defeated them. That was a good omen for us.
Sheik: May Allah be blessed.
Unidentified man off-camera: Abd Al Rahman Al-[Ghamri] said he saw a vision, before the operation, a plane crashed into a tall building. He knew nothing about it.
Sheik: May Allah be blessed.
Sulayman [Abu Guaith]: I was sitting with the Sheik in a room, then I left to go to another room where there was a TV set. The TV broadcast the big event [September 11]. The scene was showing an Egyptian family sitting in their living room, they exploded with joy. Do you know when there is a soccer game and your team wins? It was the same expression of joy. There was a subtitle that read: "In revenge for the children of Al Aqsa, Osama bin Ladin executes an operation against America." So I went back to the Sheik [meaning bin Laden] who was sitting in a room with 50 to 60 people. I tried to tell him about what I saw, but he made gesture with his hands, meaning: "I know, I know."

Hijackers 'didn't know'
Bin Laden: He did not know about the operation. Not everybody knew. Muhammad [Atta] from the Egyptian family (meaning the al Qaeda Egyptian group), was in charge of the group.
Sheik: A plane crashing into a tall building was out of anyone's imagination. This was a great job. He was one of the pious men in the organization. He became a martyr. Allah bless his soul.
Bin Laden: The brothers, who conducted the operation, all they knew was that they have a martyrdom operation and we asked each of them to go to America but they didn't know anything about the operation, not even one letter. But they were trained and we did not reveal the operation to them until they are there and just before they boarded the planes.
Those who were trained to fly didn't know the others. One group of people did not know the other group.
(Someone in the crowd asks bin Laden to tell the Sheik about the dream of [Abu-Daud]).
Bin Laden: We were at a camp of one of the brother's guards in Kandahar. This brother belonged to the majority of the group. He came close and told me that he saw, in a dream, a tall building in America, and in the same dream he saw Mukhtar teaching them how to play karate. At that point, I was worried that maybe the secret would be revealed if everyone starts seeing it in their dream. So I closed the subject. I told him if he sees another dream, not to tell anybody, because people will be upset with him.

'Be patient'
Bin Laden: They were overjoyed when the first plane hit the building, so I said to them: Be patient.
The difference between the first and the second plane hitting the towers was 20 minutes. And the difference between the first plane and the plane that hit the Pentagon was one hour.
Sheik: [The Americans] were terrified thinking there was a coup.
(Ayman Al-Zawahri says first he commended bin Laden's awareness of what the media are saying. Then he says it was the first time for Americans to feel danger coming at them.)
Bin Laden: (reciting a poem)
I witness that against the sharp blade
They always faced difficulties and stood together.

When the darkness comes upon us and we are bit by a
Sharp tooth, I say

"Our homes
are flooded with blood and the tyrant
Is freely wandering in our homes"

And from the battlefield vanished
The brightness of swords and the horses.

And over weeping sounds now
We hear the beats of drums and rhythm
They are storming his forts
And shouting: "We will not stop our raids
Until you free our lands."

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide