War on Terror: New File Links Hijack to Osama Bin Laden
Byline: John Deane
The majority of the hijackers involved in the September 11 attacks on the United States had links to Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terror network, according to an updated evidence document released by Downing Street.
The document was a revised version of a dossier first published by Tony Blair on October 4.
Its stated purpose was to 'remind people why we are engaged in this action, and to publish new information.'
One of its principal points was: 'There is now information linking the majority of the hijackers with al Qaida, rather than just the three originally stated.'
The document argued that bin Laden had all but admitted his responsibility for the attacks on the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania.
It noted: 'Bin Laden has come closest to admitting responsibility in an inflammatory video made on October 20 which has been circulating among supporters of the al Qaida network.'
In what it described as a reference to the attacks on the US buildings, bin Laden said: 'It is what we instigated for a while, in self-defence ... So if avenging the killing of our people is terrorism, let history be a witness that we are terrorists.'
And bin Laden used the video to threaten: 'Bush and Blair ... don't understand any language but the language of force. Every time they kill us, we kill them, so the balance of terror is achieved.'
And he continued: '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.'
In the October 20 video, bin Laden sought to justify al Qaida's 'good' terrorism as a self-defensive action designed to stop 'bad terror' by the US and Israel.
He said: 'The bad terror is what America and Israel are practising against our people, and what we are practising is the good terror that will stop them doing what they are doing.'
Days earlier, his spokesman had spoken of the 'good deed' carried out by the hijackers, who he said 'transferred the battle into the US heartland', and warned: 'The storm of plane attacks will not abate.'
And bin Laden said on October 7 that America had been 'struck by God Almighty in one of its vital organs, so that its greatest buildings are destroyed.'
He spelt out his key demands of a Palestinian state and the removal of US military bases from Saudi Arabia, saying: 'I swear to God that America will not live in peace before peace reigns in Palestine and before all the army of infidels depart the land of Mohammed, peace be upon him.'
Much of the content of the dossier repeated the October 4 document, which spelt out the justification for waging war in Afghanistan.
The dossier made clear that its contents did not amount to a prosecutable case against bin Laden and stated that some of the information pointing to his guilt had been withheld to protect intelligence sources. …