BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: World: Middle East
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Wednesday, 19 December, 2001, 22:13 GMT
Riyadh: Bin Laden video is 'genuine'
Video excerpt showing Osama Bin Laden
Many Arabs still doubt the veracity of the video
Saudi Arabia's Defence Minister Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz has said he believes the videotape of Osama Bin Laden discussing the 11 September terror attacks is "genuine".

"Some people had doubts that the videotape was fake and fabricated by the United States. This is untrue. The videotape is genuine," the prince told Al-Iqtissadiah business daily, in the first official reaction to the tape from within Saudi Arabia.


Undoubtedly, in the videotape (Bin Laden) does not show any sanity, or military and national leadership

Prince Sultan
The video released by the Pentagon last week shows Bin Laden joking and laughing with friends and associates about the suicide plane attacks on New York's World Trade Center, in which more than 3,000 people died.

The US says the tape provides compelling evidence that Bin Laden was behind the attacks, but the BBC's Middle East correspondent, Frank Gardner, says that many Arabs do not agree.

Insane

"Undoubtedly, in the videotape (Bin Laden) does not show any sanity, or military and national leadership," Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz was quoted as saying.

He described Bin Laden as "insane" and said he did not deserve the status that some accorded him.

"They have given him an inflated status and image... the man has abused himself and abused others... A man who is insane... and who appointed himself a leader for the Afghan people," Prince Sultan said.

TVs in Madrid
Washington calls the video a "smoking gun"

Prince Sultan's comments echoed earlier sentiments expressed by the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, on Saturday.

Prince Bandar denounced the Saudi-born dissident and his al-Qaeda group, describing him as a "murderous criminal".

"The tape displays the cruel and inhumane face of a murderous criminal who has no respect for the sanctity of human life or the principles of his faith," Prince Bandar said.

Differing opinion

Washington has called the Bin Laden video a "smoking gun" which puts his guilt beyond doubt, but the BBC's Frank Gardner, says that many in the Arab world believe the tape is a fake.

Some mistrust the translation of Bin Laden's remarks, which was necessary as the recording is of both very poor audio and visual quality.

Pentagon officials asked four non-government Arabic speakers to listen to the remarks and agree on a uniform translation.

But our correspondent also says some Saudis do not believe the man on the tape is really Bin Laden.

See also:

13 Dec 01 | South Asia
Osama Bin Laden transcript excerpts
13 Dec 01 | Middle East
Arabs divided over Bin Laden tape
14 Dec 01 | Americas
Bin Laden video angers New Yorkers
14 Dec 01 | Americas
Bush dismisses Bin Laden tape doubts
15 Dec 01 | UK Politics
Bin Laden video 'proves guilt'
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories