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Monday, 24 September, 2001, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Text of Taleban leader's speech
Text of the speech by the Taleban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar from the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press news agency

America shouldn't be mistaken. My death or the death of Osama (Bin Laden) will not bring America out of this crisis.

If America wants to root out terrorism and intimidation, then it should withdraw its forces from the Gulf and demonstrate neutrality over the issue of Palestine.

It should release Islam, which it has taken hostage in a spiritual form and should stop further interference.

A good example of Islam as a hostage is the present situation which they (the Americans) have created in Afghanistan. They want the end of the Islamic order; they want to create disorder, and they want a pro-American government.

In this case, where will the taste of Islam be for Muslims, and how angry and in what poor conditions will Muslims be? They (the Americans) have done this in many Islamic countries.

America has no alternative in these affairs to locking itself in a bloody war in which it will burn itself and others, and which will have no result.

The American people and the government should consider this oppressive and ugly policy, which tells each Muslim: Accept my words; if not I will throw an atomic bomb on you and will close off the holes through which sustenance can reach you.

These are all facts. The distance travelled by a lie is short.

See also:

24 Sep 01 | Americas
US to produce Bin Laden evidence
17 Sep 01 | South Asia
Afghanistan - a tough military option
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