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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 October, 2004, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
US rivals condemn Bin Laden threats
Osama Bin Laden in the new video
Bin Laden likened the US to "corrupt" Arab governments
US President George Bush and his Democratic rival, John Kerry, have reacted swiftly to a new video message by al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

In the video, he warns the US could face more 11 September-style attacks.

President Bush said Americans would not be intimidated and that the US was chasing terrorists across the globe so it did not have to face them at home.

Senator John Kerry said that if he was elected president next week, the US would destroy Osama bin Laden.

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Mr Bush said: "Let me make this very clear. Americans will not be intimidated or influenced by an enemy of our country. I'm sure Senator Kerry agrees with this."

The American people were at war and would prevail, he added.

Mr Kerry, meanwhile, said Americans were "absolutely united in our determination to hunt down and destroy Osama Bin Laden and the terrorists" and he would "stop at absolutely nothing" to do so.

Correspondents say that, in its simplest terms, the video is a reminder from Bin Laden that he is still there and he is still a threat.

'Another Manhattan'

The video message was broadcast by the Arabic television station, al-Jazeera.

US officials said they saw no immediate need to raise the terrorism alert level because of the tape.

The State Department in Washington said US diplomats in the Gulf state of Qatar had tried unsuccessfully to prevent al-Jazeera broadcasting it.

Your security does not lie in the hands of Kerry, Bush or al-Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands
Osama Bin Laden

In the tape, Bin Laden speaks directly to the camera in a quiet, calm voice, making small gestures with his right hand. He appears in good health.

"Oh American people," the video begins, "my talk to you is about the best way to avoid another Manhattan; about the war, its causes and results."

He accuses President Bush of deceiving the American people in the years since the 11 September attacks.

"Bush is still deceiving you and hiding the truth from you, and therefore the reasons are still there to repeat what happened," he says.

He also accuses Mr Bush of incompetence, saying the attacks on the US would have been less severe if the president had been more alert, and suggests Mr Bush abandoned his people in a time of crisis.

He ridicules the president for continuing to read a story to schoolchildren despite having just been informed of the attacks.

The video is Bin Laden's clearest claim of responsibility yet for the attacks.

Freedom

The al-Qaeda leader likens the Bush administration to Arab regimes, saying both are characterised by "hubris, arrogance, greed and unlawful acquisition of money".

He tries to appropriate the language of the Bush administration, dismissing Mr Bush's regular claims that al-Qaeda militants "hate freedom".

A blatantly obvious attempt to influence the US elections
Robert, US

"We fought you because we are free and do not accept injustice," he says.

He adds: "Your security does not lie in the hands of Kerry, Bush, or al-Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands. Each and every state that does not tamper with our security will have automatically assured its own security."

Bin Laden also says he first thought of attacking the US after seeing destroyed tower blocks in Lebanon following the Israeli invasion in 1982, which he says the US permitted.

He appears to be trying to portray himself as a political leader, says the BBC's security correspondent Gordon Corera.

Unlike in previous tapes, there is no mention of any specific threats, which highlights the question being asked by some experts as to whether al-Qaeda is capable of mounting more attacks like those of 11 September 2001, our correspondent adds.

US officials say they believe the tape is authentic.

THE BIN LADEN TAPES
29 Oct: Al-Jazeera airs video of Bin Laden admitting he carried out 11 September attacks
15 April: Bin Laden audio tape gives Europe three months to pull troops out of Islamic nations
4 Jan: Al-Jazeera airs audio tape calling on Muslims to keep fighting holy war in Middle East
10 Sept 03: Video footage shows Bin Laden walking through rocky terrain with al-Zawahri, two taped messages accompany video

The tape alludes to Mr Bush and Mr Kerry as presidential rivals - indicating that it must have been made in the last few months.

A spokesman for al-Jazeera said the station received the tape early on Friday, but would not indicate how.

French news agency AFP quotes an unnamed US state department official as saying US diplomats in Qatar had unsuccessfully attempted to prevent al-Jazeera broadcasting the tape.

Correspondents in Washington say it is difficult to predict what impact this video will have on the US presidential contest, but it is likely to dominate the rest of the campaign.

This is the first new videotape of Bin Laden speaking to have surfaced since the US-led war in Afghanistan.

However, several audio messages believed to be from him have emerged since then.

The most recent, posted on a website known to be used by Islamist militants, strongly criticised the US and coalition forces in Iraq and ordered a jihad, or holy war, against them.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See Bush and Kerry reaction to Bin Laden's threat



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES:
Reuters RPT-Wall St Wk Ahead:Bin Laden, election to move stocks - 5 hrs ago
ABCNEWS.com Bin Laden Tape Included No Specific Threat - 6 hrs ago
SABC Bin Laden accuses Bush of deceiving Americans - 21 hrs ago
CNN Bush reacts to bin Laden tape - 28 hrs ago
Los Angeles TimesAl Qaeda Leader Reveals Sept. 11 Motive - 29 hrs ago
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