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Hell on Earth?

What does Osama bin Laden have to say about the attacks and what does the world think of him?

October 12, 2001

What does Osama bin Laden have to say about the attacks and what does the world think of him?

Osama bin Laden’s place in history is assured. The man who seems to have masterminded the attacks on New York and Washington managed what no foreign army has accomplished since the British-American war of 1812 — a raid on U.S. mainland territory. With allied U.S. and British forces now hunting bin Laden in his Afghani mountain hide-out, our new Read My Lips examines what the man has to say about his actions and how the world reacted.

What is your justification for the September 11 attacks?

“What America is tasting now is something insignificant compared to what we have tasted for scores of years.”

(Osama bin Laden, October 2001)

Why all that hatred against the United States?

“To bin Laden and other extremists who trained with him to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan, the U.S. presence amounts to a modern crusade.”

(Washington Post editorial, September 2001)

What is bin Laden’s connection to the United States?

“A CIA asset who turned bad.”

(Fred Hiatt, Washington Post editorial page director, September 2001)

What is the United States in for now?

“Neither America nor the people who live in it will dream of security before we live in it in Palestine — and not before all the infidel armies leave the land of Muhammad.”

(Osama bin Laden, October 2001)

How easy is it to find out who is friend or foe?

“You’re either with civilization — or with terrorists.”

(Rudi Giuliani, New York’s mayor, October 2001)

How will the United States conduct its foreign policy in the future?

“From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.”

(George W. Bush, October 2001)

How did the attacks change the self-perception of the United States?

“Microsoft and Goldman Sachs will not send aircraft carriers and F-16s to the Gulf to track down Osama bin Laden. Only the military will.”

(Fracis Fukuyama, Johns Hopkins university professor, September 2001)

What is the result of the attacks?

“These events have divided the whole world into two sides — the side of believers and the side of the infidels.”

(Osama bin Laden, October 2001)

How do you see the United States’ future?

“We anticipate a black future for America — instead of remaining the United States, it shall end up separated states and shall have to carry the bodies of its sons back to America.”

(Osama bin Laden, September 2001)

What is the aim of the Taliban fighters?

“These guys want to roll back 1,300 years of history.”

(Daniel Benjamin, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International studies in Washington, September 2001)

What is the biggest challenge for the possible deployment of ground troops?

“Vietnam and Afghanistan can both be associated with the following phrase,’You see me, but I don’t see you’. In Vietnam, it was jungle. In Afghanistan, it was mountains.”

(Yuri Mozzhin, Russian Afghanistan veteran, September 2001)

How does fighting the United States compare to fighting Russia?

“Our battle against the Americans is far greater than our battle was against the Russians.”

(Osama bin Laden, September 2001)

How has bin Laden changed international terrorism?

“The larger trend has been away from state sponsorship, toward non-state terrorism, of which bin Laden and al Qaeda have been for the last several years the personification.”

(Paul R. Pillar, CIA national intelligence officer, September 2001)

What does bin Laden mean for global terrorism?

“He’s sort of the Ford Foundation of terrorists.”

(Stephen Phillip Cohen, former State Department official, September 2001)

“A CIA asset who turned bad.”
(Fred Hiatt, Washington Post, on Osama bin Laden, September 2001)

What is Osama bin Laden’s secret?

“He is a master propagandist, from his delivery to his carefully constructed image as suffering saint and ascetic warrior.”

(Steven Simon, former Clinton Administration director of counterterrorism, October 2001)

What do Muslim political leaders say about the conflict?

“We don’t have a strategy. We wish for dialogue.”

(Hamad bin Jasim Thani, Qatari Foreign Minister, October 2001)

How far does bin Laden’s influence reach?

“We have reason to believe that bin Laden’s people are connected with the events in Chechnya.”

(Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, September 2001)

What do some of his supporters think?

“Beloved bin Laden, strike Tel Aviv!”

(Crowd of chanting Palestinians, after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, September 2001)

What drives bin Laden’s anti-U.S. terror campaign?

“With small capabilities, and with our faith, we can defeat the greatest military power of modern times. America is much weaker than it appears.”

(Osama bin Laden, in Summer 2001)

Will Osama bin Laden ever be apprehended?

“We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.”

(George Bush, October 2001)