11 September 2001>News Stories>Bin Laden defiant

Bin Laden defiant
BBCNews . 7 October

Message first broadcast on Arabic station Al Jazeera

Osama Bin Laden has warned the United States that it will never enjoy security until the Palestinians also feel secure, and not until "the infidel's armies leave the land of Mohammed."

This was apparently a reference to the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia, where most of Islam's holiest shrines are located.

The statement by Bin Laden was broadcast on Al Jazeera television in Qatar two hours after the US and Britain began attacks on Afghanistan.

According to the station, it was recorded during daylight hours on Sunday.

Bin Laden's statement was preceded by a call to Muslim youth to launch a jihad or holy war on the United States and its allies by his closest ally, the Egyptian Ayman el Zawahri.

The two men were filmed standing against rocks speaking to the camera holding a microphone.

Egyptian Ayman el Zawahri is bin Laden's closest ally

Bin Laden said: "America was hit by God in one of its softest spots.

"America is full of fear from its north to its south, from its west to its east. Thank God for that."

Bin Laden did not claim responsibility for the 11 September attacks but warned US citizens they should fear further attacks.

"To America I say I swear by God the great... America will never taste security and safety unless we feel security and safety in our lands and in Palestine," he said.

"They will not feel safe until the troops of the United States of America withdraw from the Muslim holy places."

"Head of infidels"
He said that America's war on terror was a war on Islam.

"These events have split the world into two camps - belief and disbelief. Every Muslim should support his religion," he said.

He described Mr Bush as the "head of the infidels".

"Millions of innocent children are being killed in Iraq and in Palestine and we don't hear a word from the infidels. We don't hear a raised voice," he said.

"When the sword falls on the United States, they cry for their children and they cry for their people.

"The least you can say about these people is that they are sinners. They have helped evil triumph over good."


Bin Laden's broadcast was seen in Pakistan

Afghanistan has refused to hand over Bin Laden, whom the US holds responsible for the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington.

After Sunday's attacks had begun, a spokesman from the Taleban said both Bin Laden and the Taleban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar had survived the bombing.

One of the aims of the US attacks on Afghanistan is to destroy Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network of militant fighters.

Mr Bush has said he wants Bin Laden "dead or alive".