Osama bin Laden: The statement

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The Independent Online

Following is an excerpt from the speech by the al-Qa'ida leader, Osama bin Laden, addressing the American people in a video, parts of which were aired by al-Jazeera television last night, as translated by Reuters

Following is an excerpt from the speech by the al-Qa'ida leader, Osama bin Laden, addressing the American people in a video, parts of which were aired by al-Jazeera television last night, as translated by Reuters

O American people, I am speaking to tell you about the ideal way to avoid another Manhattan, about war and its causes and results.

Security is an important foundation of human life and free people do not squander their security, contrary to Bush's claims that we hate freedom.

It is known that those who hate freedom do not possess proud souls like those of the 19 [who attacked the US on 11 September 2001], may God rest their souls. We fought you because we are free and because we want freedom for our nation. When you squander our security we squander yours.

I am surprised by you. Despite entering the fourth year after 11 September, Bush is still deceiving you ... and therefore the reasons are still there to repeat what happened.

God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the towers, but after the situation became unbearable and we witnessed the injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, I thought about it...

As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon [in 1982], it occurred to me to punish the unjust the same way - to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women.

We had no difficulty in dealing with the Bush administration because they resemble the regimes in our countries, half of which are ruled by the military and the other half by the sons of kings.

He [Bush] adopted despotism and the crushing of freedoms from Arab rulers and called it the Patriot Act, under the guise of combating terrorism ...

It never occurred to us that the commander in chief [Bush] would leave 50,000 citizens in the two Towers to face those horrors alone at a time when they most needed him, because he thought listening to a child discussing her goat was more important. [Mr Bush was visiting a school on 11 September 2001.]

Your security is not in the hands of [Democratic presidential candidate, John] Kerry or Bush or al-Qa'ida. Your security is in your own hands and each state which does not harm our security will remain safe.

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