Blair Presents New Bin Laden Evidence

ByABC News
November 14, 2001, 10:42 PM

W A S H I N G T O N, Nov. 14 -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair has presented new evidence tying Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda network to the Sept. 11 attacks.

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A document released by the British government today claims newly declassified evidence proves nearly all of the hijackers behind the attacks were linked to al Qaeda, rather than just three who were initially tied to the group.

"The investigative material now leaves no doubt about the guilt of Osama bin Laden or his associates," Blair told members of Parliament today in London.

For the first time, the dossier also revealed that investigators have learned the hijackers were trained in Afghanistan, the home base of bin Laden and al Qaeda.

"A senior bin Laden associate claimed to have trained some of the hijackers in Afghanistan," the document revealed.

On Oct. 20, the document reports, bin Laden taped and circulated a video among al Qaeda supporters in which he discussed the Sept. 11 attacks. The video was not released to the public but excerpts of bin Laden's comments have appeared in the U.S. and British press.

"It is what we instigated for a while, in self-defense. And it was in revenge for our people killed in Palestine and Iraq," bin Laden reportedly said. "So if avenging the killing of our people is terrorism, let history be a witness that we are terrorists."

Later in the interview, according to the British government, bin Laden said, "The battle has been moved inside America, and we shall continue until we win this battle, or die in the cause and meet our maker."ABCNEWS