May 23, 2006 -- 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.
And then I call to memory my brothers the prisoners in Guantanamo -- may Allah free them all -- and I state the fact, about which I also am certain, that all the prisoners of Guantanamo, who were captured in 2001 and the first half of 2002 and who number in the hundreds, have no connection whatsoever to the events of September 11th, and even stranger is that many of them have no connection with al-Qaida in the first place, and even more amazing is that some of them oppose al-Qaida's methodology of calling for war with America. And this is in addition to the arrest of those who were working in the relief agencies, like Abu Abdul Aziz al-Mutrafi, or those working in the media, like Sami al-Hajj and Taysir Alouni, who was imprisoned at the instigation of the American administration.
So the conclusion is that all the prisoners to date have no connection with the events of September 11th and knew nothing about them, with the exception of two of the brothers, may Allah free them all. Bush and his administration are aware of this fact, but they avoid mentioning it, for reasons not hidden to the discerning. Among these reasons is that it is necessary to create justifications for the massive spending of hundreds of billions on the Defense Department and other agencies in their war against the Mujahideen. My mentioning of these facts isn't out of hope that Bush and his party will treat our brothers fairly in their cases, because that is something no rational person expects, but rather it is meant to expose the oppression, injustice and arbitrariness of your administration in using force and the reactions that result from that. This is from one perspective, and from another perspective, perhaps there will one day come from the Americans someone who desires justice and fairness, and that is the path to security and safety, if you are interested in it.
This is what needed to be said. And may peace be upon he who has followed the Guidance.