Full Bin Laden Tape to be Aired

ByABC News
April 17, 2002, 4:59 PM

April 18 -- After months of silence, Osama bin Laden has appeared on two new tape excerpts this week with more to come as a full version of the tape is expected to air today on Al Jazeera television.

In tape excerpts that aired Monday on the Arab satellite television station Al Jazeera and will be shown in its entirety today, bin Laden, one of his top aides, and a man U.S. officials have identified as one of the Sept. 11 hijackers proclaim victory and appear to implicate themselves in the attacks. Bin Laden did not speak in Monday's tape and is shown sitting silently next to his top deputy, Aymab Al-Zawahiri, who praises the attacks as a "great victory."

"We thank God for the victory we have achieved. This victory can only be attributed to the goodness of God," Zawahiri said, according to the Al Jazeera translation from Arabic to English. "God selects his finest believers for his award. The 19 brothers who sacrificed their lives in the sake of God were rewarded by this victory that we rejoice today."

However, bin Laden did speak on second tape excerpt released by the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation Wednesday. On the tape, bin Laden rejoices the damage the Sept. 11 attacks caused the U.S. economy.

"The aftermath losses cannot be estimated in monetary terms due to its huge number and complexity. Its on the increase thank God," bin Laden said, according to an ABCNEWS Arabic translator. "The amount lost, in the successful attacks reached more than $1 trillion dollars and we thank God for that. May God accept the brothers as martyrs in heaven."

In other parts of the MBC tape, bin Laden also noted that the attacks prompted airlines to lay off thousands of workers and said he had read studies that showed that 70 percent of Americans have suffered from depression or psychological problems since the attacks. Al Qaeda claims official responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks for the first time as spokeman Soliman Abu Kaith says, "We have done what God has ordered us to do. God called on us for 'Jihad' and we complied. We have hit the head of evil on their home soil."