The following is an edited transcript of an alleged al Qaeda videotape acquired exclusively by ABC News:
Four years after the blessed raids on New York and Washington, we find the people of the West continuing to speculate about the causes and objectives which lie behind those historic events and subsequent developments. We find them in disagreement over the nature of the people who carry out operations like those on September 11th, March 11th and July 7th, the nature of their motives and the nature of the demands they harbor, if any.
And most crucially, and as a result of their speculation and disagreement, we find them uncertain about which steps or actions they must take to achieve the restoration of the security they once enjoyed.
We wish to state at the outset that we see no acceptable excuse for this continuing uncertainty, especially since the mujahedeen have been unambiguous in stating, in stating their methodology, objectives and the reasons for their armed struggle against the crusaders and they have not hidden anything. Rather, it is the Western governments and their… mass media who have chosen to … by disregarding the facts or even intentionally muddying the waters.
Allah is our witness that the numerous audio and videotapes issued by Sheik Osama bin Laden, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the other leaders of the jihad have not been released merely to dispel the rumors of their death, or, as the Americans once ridiculously claimed, to send messages to their followers. No, these communiqués have been released to explain and propound the nature and goals of the worldwide jihad against America and the crusaders and convey our legitimate demands to friend and foe alike, so that the former may join us on this honorable and blessed path, and so the latter may acknowledge his crimes, abandon the actions and behavior which have made him subject to the wrath of God and man and take the necessary steps to restore his erstwhile security.
Our message, therefore, is crystal clear and has been made available to all who wish to know, to all who wish to know the truth. The steps which America and its crusader allies must take to restore the security and ensure their safety from attack have been set out in detail, but they have chosen the path which leads only to disaster. They have chosen the path of the arrogant and proud, the path that the nations who Allah destroyed for their unbelief and rebellion against his laws. ... They have chosen… the path to disgrace in this life and punishment in the afterlife.
'Don't Believe Bush and Blair'
People of America, Britain and the West, yours is a futile fight, because you are not only following a false religion, but compounding that crime by waging war against the truth and its people, even though Allah has promised the believers ultimate victory in this life and the next and warned the nonbelievers of defeat and humiliation in this life and everlasting punishment hereafter.
So don't believe Bush and Blair when they tell you we shall win and they shall not. ...; because Allah has given the lie to their claim, when he said (in Arabic)… "Allah has decreed: It is I and my messengers who shall prevail for Allah is strong, mighty and who is truer to his word than Allah?" Don't believe the lies of the liars at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and 10 Downing Street. They have dispatched your sons and daughters to die lonely deaths in the burning deserts of Iraq and the unforgiving mountains of Afghanistan, not to protect you, but to protect their personal interests and those of their cronies and the ruling classes.
If they really had your protection in mind, they would have heeded the mujahedeen's demands for justice and withdrawn from the Muslim world. If they really cared about protecting you, they would have responded positively to Sheik Osama's proposal for a truce with the European nations, instead of arrogantly dismissing his initiative with the false claim that quote, "We don't negotiate with terrorists, and that in any case, al Qaeda has no demands to meet."
Today, you, the people of Europe are paying the price for the arrogance of your leaders. If their goal was your protection, they would not continue to level fabricated allegations against the mujahedeen whenever your overpaid intelligence services fail to prevent an operation on your soil. If your leaders really cared about anything other than protecting their own wealth, status and positions, then they wouldn't attempt to hide the real reasons for our operations by telling you that we are bloodthirsty sadists, who kill out of mere hatred of freedom and the Western way of life.
If the leaders of the West really cared about the truth and transparency, they would not feign ignorance of decades of Western interference in Muslim affairs and the tyranny and oppression experienced by the people of Islam as a result of that interference. If Bush and Blair really cared about the freedom of the Iraqi people, they would not have propped up the tyrant Saddam for nearly two decades. If your leaders really respect (inaudible) the Muslims they would not be doing everything in their power to corrupt our religion and separate the Muslims from their faith while killing all those who refuse apostasy and humiliation. If your leaders really cared about your protection, they would have long since restored our security instead of continuing to rape, pillage and plunder the lands of Islam without so much as an ounce of shame or compunction.
It is clear from what we have just explained that you, the people of the West, now have two mutually exclusive paths from which to choose. Rid yourself of your current leaders and governments and their anti-Islam, anti-Muslim policies or suffer the consequences. Rise up against your leaders -- crusaders beholden to Zion who claim to be ruling according to popular will -- yet ignore opinion polls and two- million-strong marches. Rise up against them and replace them with leaders who serve the interests of their peoples instead of their own egos, wallets and bank accounts. Consider this: If Slobodan Milosevic was overthrown by his people for prosecuting a decade of unnecessary war against the interests of the nation, then Bush and Blair, who embroiled in a never-ending war against what they call terror, are infinitely worse than Milosevic.
Removing your world rulers is the logical choice for you, the people of the West. As for the alternative, it is the path which you are currently following, the path of Milosevic and Bush and Blair and their unending campaign of terror, the path of death and suffering and ultimately defeat. This is the choice you have been given, preserving what remains of the West's dignity and reputation by submitting to the legitimate demands of 1.3 billion Muslims and ending your centuries-long war against Islam and its people, or guaranteeing the ignoble end of your declining civilization by fighting Bush's crusade until you collapse from exhaustion.
There is no third option. It's either pragmatic surrender or a protracted, painful, war, ending in disgrace and failure because by no means shall we sit back and accept the status quo, by no means shall we lie down and permit you to occupy our land, steal our wealth, slaughter our brothers and sisters, humiliate and torture our prisoners, desecrate our Koran, belittle our beliefs ... and prop up infidels who rule us without right.
The dark days of inaction and complacency and non-resistance have passed. The call has gone out and the era of jihad and resistance has dawned in all its glory. As Sheik Osama has told you repeatedly, your security is dependent on our security. You can't have one without the other. If you ensure our security, you will have automatically insured you own. You security is not in the hands of Bush or Blair or Musharraf… No, it's in your hands. And a failure to act on your part will have unpleasant consequence.
Yesterday, London, and Madrid. Tomorrow, Los Angeles and Melbourne, Allah willing. And this time, don't count on us demonstrating restraint or compassion. We are Muslims. We love peace, but peace on our terms, peace laid down by Islam, not the so-called peace of occupiers and dictators. We love peace, but when the enemy violates that peace or prevents us from achieving it, then we love nothing better than the heat of battle, the echo of explosions and slitting the throats of the infidels.
When it comes to defending our religion, our freedom, and our brothers in faith, every one of us is Mohammed Atta.