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[] noch ein Interview mit Bin Laden,

Diesmal vom Al Jazeeras Korrespondent in Kabul, aufgenommen im Oktober
nach dem Beginn der US-Angriffe. Al Jazeera hatte damals auf eine
Ausstrahlung verzichtet. Ein Grund: Der Interviewer wurde von Bin Laden
respektlos behandelt. Ein anderer Grund: Ein privates Treffen des
US-Vizepräsidenten Dick Cheney mit dem Emir von Katar, Shaykh Hamad
Bin-Khalifah Al Thani, einige Tage zuvor, bei dem auch über die Rolle
von Al Jazeera gesprochen wurde. Das Video machte dann bei den
Regierungen im arabischen Raum und später der USA und Großbritanniens
die Runde, ist aber offiziell bis heute nicht veröffentlicht.

New York Times
December 12, 2001

Interview With Bin Laden Makes The Rounds

By James Risen and Patrick E. Tyler

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 ? Al Jazeera, the Persian Gulf television network,
obtained an exclusive interview with Osama bin Laden in October, the
only television interview the terrorist leader has given since the war
in Afghanistan began. But the network never broadcast the interview,
partly because it revealed how much Mr. bin Laden had intimidated the
network's correspondent, according to American and Middle Eastern
government officials.

Later, however, Britain and the United States secretly obtained copies
of the interview, and on Nov. 14, British Prime Minister Tony Blair used
it to buttress the West's public case that Mr. bin Laden was responsible
for the Sept. 11 attacks.

At the time, Mr. Blair did not identify the source of the tape, and said
only that it was "an inflammatory interview, which has been circulating,
in the form of a video, among supporters in the Al Qaeda network." Mr.
Blair referred to the tape when he issued his second public statement
detailing evidence collected by the United States and Britain to prove
that Mr. bin Laden planned the Sept. 11 attacks.

But American and Middle Eastern government officials now say that the
tape was from the interview with Al Jazeera, believed to have been
conducted on Oct. 20 somewhere in Afghanistan by a correspondent then
working out of Kabul.

The tape of the interview was produced earlier than the one discussed in
recent days by the Bush administration in which Mr. bin Laden, speaking
during a dinner, reportedly gloats about the attacks. That was a home
movie of sorts; this is a professional television interview.

Mr. Blair, quoting from Al Jazeera's interview, said that Mr. bin Laden
declared that "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." He also quotes Mr. bin Laden as saying that "the bad terror is
what America and Israel are practicing against our people, and what we
are practicing is the good terror that will stop them doing what they
are doing."

The decision not to broadcast the tape is believed to have been made
after Al Jazeera news executives reviewed it at their headquarters in
Qatar. The tape shows Mr. bin Laden's refusal to answer the reporter's
questions; instead he dictates both the questions and the answers. The
correspondent for Al Jazeera, who has not been identified, appeared
fearful and intimidated. "He looked like a wimp," said one government

Al Jazeera officials in Doha, Qatar's capital, refused to respond fully
to questions about the tape. Several of them denied knowing about an
interview with Mr. bin Laden.

Abrahim Helal, a news executive with the network, said in an interview
that he did not know of any interview turned over to the British and
American governments.

Since Sept. 11, Mr. bin Laden is known to have granted only one other
interview besides the one that Al Jazeera apparently decided not to
broadcast. That was with a Pakistani newspaper reporter who was brought
into Afghanistan to meet him. In addition, Mr. bin Laden released a
videotaped statement on the day the United States-led military campaign
began, Oct. 7.

The United States and Britain have still not released the videotape from
the Al Jazeera interview, and officials said there are no plans to do

After Al Jazeera decided not to broadcast the tape, it began circulating
among Arab government officials and others in the Middle East, and
eventually both the United States and Britain separately obtained
copies, officials said. "It seemed like people everywhere in the Middle
East had seen the tape, including the King of Jordan," one official

Al Jazeera officials did not hand over the tape directly to the British
government for use in Prime Minister Blair's statement, and the British
and the Americans appear to have obtained it from officials in Arab
governments who were increasingly concerned by Al Jazeera's growing
influence in the region.

Prime Minister Blair decided not to reveal the tape's origin in part
because the British government wanted to keep the focus on what Mr. bin
Laden said in the tape, rather than on the work of Al Jazeera. American
officials have also refused to discuss the circumstances surrounding the
videotaped interview publicly to avoid harming the method in which it
was obtained. When asked about the videotape, one American official said
only that Al Jazeera has tried to be "responsible" in what does and
doesn't broadcast.

Al Jazeera's decision not to broadcast the interview with Mr. bin Laden
followed a private meeting in October between Vice President Dick Cheney
and the Emir of Qatar, Shaykh Hamad Bin-Khalifah Al Thani, about Al
Jazeera's inflammatory, anti-American broadcasts. Qatar's ruling family
has financed the network.

American officials stress that Mr. Cheney's complaints about Al Jazeera
were general in nature, but Al- Jazeera's decision not to air the tape
followed the meeting in Washington.

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