In a new audiotape allegedly made by Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader says Zacarias Moussaoui had no connection to the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
The statement surfaced on a Web site today. Below is a translation of the statement that accompanied the audiotape on the Internet site.
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace upon the Prophets and Messengers.
As for what follows:
From Usama bin Muhammad bin Ladin to the American people: peace be upon he who has followed the Guidance.
This is a brief message whose topic is my testimony on behalf of the Muslim prisoners you are holding, and in it I will talk about the truth concerning them, which is something which the Bush administration hates and is hostile to.
I begin by talking about the honorable brother Zacarias Moussaoui.
The truth is that he has no connection whatsoever with the events of September 11th, and I am certain of what I say, because I was responsible for entrusting the 19 brothers -- Allah have mercy upon them -- with those raids, and I did not assign brother Zacarias to be with them on that mission. And his confession that he was assigned to participate in those raids is a false confession which no intelligent person doubts is a result of the pressure put upon him for the past four and a half years.
And were this pressure lifted from him for him to return to his normal state, he would state the fact I mentioned. And among the things that confirm this fact is that the participants in September 11th were two groups: pilots and support teams for each pilot in order to control the aircraft. And since Zacarias Moussaoui was learning how to fly, it follows that he wasn't component #20 from the teams which helped to control the airplanes, as your government previously claimed, and your government knows this fact with certainty.
And if Moussaoui was studying aviation to become a pilot of one of the planes, then let him tell us the names of those assigned to help him control the plane. But he won't be able to tell us their names, for a simple reason: that in fact they don't exist. This is from one perspective, and from another perspective, the brother
Moussaoui was arrested two weeks before the events, and had he known anything -- however little -- about the September 11th group, we would have told the brother Commander Mohamed Atta and his brothers -- Allah have mercy upon them -- to leave America immediately before their affair was exposed. And with this it becomes clear to even the novice investigator -- not to mention the seasoned one -- that there is no connection between him and the events of September 11th.