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Second bin Laden tape delivered to Arabic satellite station
Wed Apr 17, 2:01 PM ET
By BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press Writer
BEIRUT, Lebanon - A second videotape that appears to be a message from Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s terror network — this one showing images of al-Qaida commanders killed by American bombs — has been delivered to an Arabic satellite station, the station reported Wednesday.
Like the images the Qatar-based station Al-Jazeera showed a day earlier, the tape aired by the Saudi-owned, London-based Middle East Broadcasting Corp. was described as a professional packaging of various material, including old statements from bin Laden and his aides. The tapes appeared to be different.
Bin Laden, whose whereabouts are unknown, may be appeared to be trying to tell the world he was still active despite the U.S. bombing campaign that toppled his host, the Taliban militia that once ruled Afghanistan (news - web sites), killed some of his top lieutenants and sent him underground.
The tapes appeared at a time of heightened tension in the Middle East, with Arab protesters, some invoking bin Laden's name, demanding their leaders take firm action against Israel in support of the Palestinians. The Al-Jazeera excerpts had sparked criticism that the broadcast could increase hostility toward Arabs and the Palestinian cause.
"Clearly this is the tape that best shows al-Qaida's involvement in masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks," MBC Chief Editor Nakhle al-Haj told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his base in the United Arab Emirates.
Al-Haj said MBC obtained the tape recently, but wouldn't say when or how.
"MBC has acquired a special film in which Osama bin Laden expressed happiness for the past Sept. 11 incidents in the United States referring to the grave losses that were caused by it," an MBC news announcer said as brief clips were shown Wednesday. The station said it would air longer segments later Wednesday.
In clips MBC said were taken in December, bin Laden appeared in good health wearing a brown gown and a white headscarf. He is heard saying the Sept. 11 attacks cost the United States dlrs 1 trillion dollars, describing the 19 hijackers as "our brothers the martyrs" and calling the attacks the "blessed operations."
Bin Laden made similar remarks in a videotape aired by Al-Jazeera in December. Al-Jazeera said at the time that that tape was made in December sent anonymously by air courier from Pakistan to Qatar.
MBC also showed a man carrying a rocket-propelled grenade while riding a brown horse. MBC said the video included images of the bodies of al-Qaida commanders killed by the late American strikes,
Al-Jazeera has since Monday been previewing excerpts of its tape, which includes threats against the United States from a man identified as one of the Sept. 11 hijackers and bin Laden's top deputy proclaiming the terror attacks a "great victory." The station planned to broadcast more of the hour-long tape Thursday.