Transcript of Osama bin Laden videotape
By Associated Press
The English translation of the
Osama bin Laden videotape released by
the US Defense Department on Dec. 13, 2001
Text of the videotape released Thursday by the Pentagon of alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden discussing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on United States.
The transcript and annotations were independently prepared by George Michael, translator, Diplomatic Language Services; and Dr. Kassem M. Wahba, Arabic language program coordinator, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. They collaborated on their translation and compared it with translations done by the U.S. government for consistency. The government said there were no inconsistencies in the translations.
In mid-November, Osama Bin Laden spoke to a room of supporters, possibly in Kandahar, Afghanistan. These comments were videotaped with the knowledge of Bin Laden and all present.
The tape is approximately one hour long and contains three different segments: an original taping of a visit by some people to the site of the downed U.S. helicopter in Ghazni province (approximately 12 minutes long); and two segments documenting a courtesy visit by Bin Laden and his lieutenants to an unidentified Shaykh, who appears crippled from the waist down. The visit apparently takes place at a guesthouse in Kandahar. The sequence of the events is reversed on the tape -- the end of his visit is in the beginning of the tape, with the helicopter site visit in the middle and the start of the Osama bin Laden visit beginning approximately 39 minutes into the tape. The tape is transcribed below according to the proper sequence of events.
Due to the quality of the original tape, it is NOT a verbatim transcript of every word spoken during the meeting, but does convey the messages and information flow.
EDITOR'S NOTE: 39 minutes into tape, first segment of the bin Laden meeting, begins after footage of the helicopter site visit.
The transcript begins ...
Shaykh: (...inaudible...) You have given us weapons, you have given us hope and we thank Allah for you. We don't want to take much of your time, but this is the arrangement of the brothers. People now are supporting us more, even those ones who did not support us in the past, support us more now. I did not want to take that much of your time. We praise Allah, we praise Allah. We came from Kabul. We were very pleased to visit. May Allah bless you both at home and the camp. We asked the driver to take us, it was a night with a full moon, thanks be to Allah. Believe me it is not in the countryside. The elderly ... everybody praises what you did, the great action you did, which was first and foremost by the grace of Allah. This is the guidance of Allah and the blessed fruit of jihad.
OBL: Thanks to Allah. What is the stand of the Mosques there (in Saudi Arabia)?
Shaykh: Honestly, they are very positive. Shaykh Al-Bahrani (phonetic) gave a good sermon in his class after the sunset prayers. It was videotaped and I was supposed to carry it with me, but unfortunately, I had to leave immediately.
OBL: The day of the events?
Shaykh: At the exact time of the attack on America, precisely at the time. He (Bahrani) gave a very impressive sermon. Thanks be to Allah for his blessings. He (Bahrani) was the first one to write at war time. I visited him twice in Al-Qasim.
OBL: Thanks be to Allah.