- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 16, 2002

A new video of Osama bin Laden surfaced yesterday on Arab-language television, but U.S. officials said the brief segment did not provide enough information to determine when the tape was made.
A senior official said the government may be able to tell more after Al Jazeera television broadcasts the entire hour-long video later this week. The official said the United States does not possess a copy of the footage, which Al Jazeera called a documentary titled "The Wills of the New York and Washington Battle Martyrs."
Bin Laden is seen seated on the ground outdoors, alongside his top aide, Egyptian surgeon Ayman al Zawahiri, who praises the September 11 attacks on the United States. At another point, one of the 19 September 11 hijackers is shown in full battle dress, describing why he accepted the terror mission.
"It is time to kill the Americans on their own soil among their sons, and next to the soldiers and intelligence agencies," says Ahmed Ibrahim al Haznawi, one of four hijackers aboard United Flight 93 that crashed in the western Pennsylvania countryside.
Haznawi, 21, a Saudi native, made the tape in Kandahar in March. He entered the United States in June on a tourist visa and lived in Delray Beach, Fla., before boarding Flight 93 in Newark, N.J.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday that he had viewed a tape of bin Laden on Sunday that appeared dated.
But a U.S. official later said the tape described by Mr. Rumsfeld was not the same video aired by Al Jazeera in Qatar on the Persian Gulf.
The source said that tape, on which bin Laden speaks, was acquired by the United States during the war in Afghanistan and does not show any new information. "It's no big deal," the official said.
Of that tape, Mr. Rumsfeld said, "The impression is that it is not new. The tape is new, but it does not reflect anything of UBL (Osama bin Laden) from recent periods."
In the new Al Jazeera tape, bin Laden and Zawahiri sit on the ground against a backdrop of grass and mountains. The production contrasts with the terrorist mastermind's trademark video in which he faces the camera head-on and delivers a hate-filled diatribe. He does not speak in the limited segment shown by Al Jazeera. But Zawahiri does, along with an unidentified narrator.
"Those 19 brothers who went out and worked and sacrificed their lives for God, God granted this conquest that we enjoy today," Zawahiri says of the September 11 attacks. "The great victory that was achieved was because of God's help and not because of our efficiency or power."
Ibrahim Hilal, editor in chief of the Qatar-based Al Jazeera, said the hour-long tape was delivered a week ago and was produced by a group that supports al Qaeda. He told the Associated Press that he plans to broadcast the entire tape Thursday.
"I can't tell you about when the material was made exactly, but it seems very recent," he said. Mr. Hilal identified the man on the tape as Haznawi.
Bin Laden last released a tape in late December, which also appeared on Al Jazeera and which U.S. officials believe was made earlier that month. At that time, U.S. aircraft were bombing al Qaeda targets throughout eastern Afghanistan, and bin Laden remained on the run. He appeared thin, pale and emotionally stressed. He did not move his left arm during the 33-minute tape.
His deteriorating appearance and intelligence reports have led some officials to believe bin Laden was wounded by a coalition air strike. Officials believe he remains somewhere in eastern Afghanistan or across the border in friendly Pashtun areas of Pakistan.
Mr. Rumsfeld has said in recent weeks that he finds it "interesting" that bin Laden has not released an updated taped message, a mechanism the Saudi exile uses to encourage his Muslim followers to kill Americans.
According to a translation posted on CNN's Web site, Zawahiri also says, "Allah looks in the heart of his worshippers and chooses those who are qualified for his mercy, grace and blessing. Those 19 brothers who went out and gave their souls to Allah almighty, God almighty has granted them this victory we are enjoying now."

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