Osama says he has nuclear and chemical weapons

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Osama says he has nuclear and chemical weapons AFP (Islamabad, November 10)

Osama bin Laden said in an interview with a Pakistani newspaper released Saturday that his group has nuclear and chemical weapons and he is prepared to use them.

"I wish to declare that if America used chemical or nuclear weapons against us then we may retort with chemical and nuclear weapons," Dawn newspaper quoted Bin Laden as saying in an exclusive interview in Kabul.

"We have chemical and nuclear weapons as a deterrent," he added.

Dawn is Pakistan's oldest English language newspaper and one of its most respected publications.

It said the interview was carried out Friday by Hamid Gul editor of Ausaf newspaper. Gul is writing a book on bin Laden, the accused mastermind of the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington in which more than 5,000 died.

In the interview, Bin Laden did not deny he was involved in the attacks but he justified them saying: "The September 11 attacks were not targeted at women and children. The real targets were America's icons of military and economic power."

The United States launched air strikes against Afghanistan on October 7 in a bid to force the Taliban militia to hand over bin Laden.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), November 09, 2001


SATURDAY NOVEMBER 10 2001 Bin Laden makes nuclear threat FROM STEPHEN FARRELL IN ISLAMABAD OSAMA BIN LADEN claims today that he has nuclear weapons and is ready to use them. “We have chemical and nuclear weapons as a deterrent and if America used them against us we reserve the right to use them,” two Pakistani newspapers quote him as saying.

The threat was made during an interview on Wednesday with Hamid Mir, Editor of the Urdu-language Ausaf newspaper. The article appears with a photograph of Mr Mir with bin Laden “somewhere near Kabul” and another of bin Laden sitting beside his second-in-command, the Egyptian doctor Ayman al-Zawahiri. The interview, said to be the first with any journalist since September 11, is also published in the Islamabad-based English-language newspaper, Dawn.

Mr Mir, who lives in Islamabad but is now in Kabul, has met bin Laden twice previously and claims to be writing a biography. He says that he is in regular contact with bin Laden through messengers who arrive in Islamabad with statements from al-Qaeda.

In his article, Mr Mir says that he was taken blindfolded in a Jeep from Kabul on the night of November 7 “to a place where it was extremely cold and one could hear the sound of anti-aircraft guns”.

Mr Mir says that bin Laden arrived with al-Zawahiri and a dozen bodyguards. Asked about Western reports that he was trying to obtain chemical and nuclear weapons, bin Laden said: “I heard the speech of American President Bush yesterday. He was scaring the European countries that Osama wanted to attack with weapons of mass destruction. I wish to declare that if America used chemical or nuclear weapons against us, then we may retort with chemical and nuclear weapons. We have the weapons as deterrents.”

Asked: “Where did you get these weapons from?” bin Laden replied curtly: “Go to the next question.”

Bin Laden went on to say that “according to the information I have”, the hijacking suspects were all passengers, not hijackers. At no point does he directly admit carrying out the September 11 attacks, but asked to justify them under Islamic law, he says that the strikes were aimed at America’s military and economic establishment. “If an enemy occupies a Muslim territory and uses common people as a human shield, then it is permitted to attack that enemy.”


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), November 09, 2001.

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