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Arab Mag Says It Has Bin Laden Will (AP) By Salah Nasrawi CAIRO, EGYPT 10/26/02 1:57 AM) Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20571-2002Oct26.html
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CAIRO, Egypt –– A London-based Arabic magazine said it has obtained the will of Osama bin Laden in which he accuses fellow Muslim leaders of betraying him in the face of the American campaign to destroy his al-Qaida movement.
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The weekly magazine Al-Majallah said the typed will was dated Dec. 14, 2001, and signed by bin Laden. At that time, U.S. forces were bombing the al-Qaida stronghold at Tora Bora where bin Laden was believed to have fled after the collapse of rule by the Taliban.
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The Associated Press obtained an advance copy of the article in the Saudi-owned magazine, which was to be published Saturday. The copy had what the magazine said was a photo of one page of the four-page will with bin Laden´s supposed signature. There was a second enlarged photo of the signature.
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In the purported will, bin Laden accuses Muslim leaders of betraying him and "the students of religion," meaning the Taliban, the magazine said. Bin Laden and Taliban leaders complained during the American attack that other Muslims had ignored pleas to come to their aid.
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"Without treason the situation would have been different today and the outcome would have been different," the text of the copy says.
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"The situation has reversed. We saw the cowardly crusaders (the United States) and the humiliated Jews stand up while the soldiers of our nation raise the white flag and surrender to the enemies like women," it says.
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A U.S. intelligence official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, said American officials have not verified the authenticity of the will.
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Issam Abdel Allah, a member of Al-Majallah´s editorial board, said the will was received from sources in Afghanistan, but he declined to give further details.
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He said the magazine double-checked the document´s validity with other sources, adding: "If we wouldn´t have confirmed it, we would not have published it."
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He said Al-Majallah did not know if bin Laden was alive or dead, but he added that "it seems he wrote it (the will) in a very difficult situation under severe American bombing."
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In the purported will, bin Laden refers to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
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"The battle of New York and Washington was the third strike against America, the first of which was the bombing of the Marines in Lebanon, the second was the bombing of the American Embassy in Nairobi," he says, referring to an attack in 1983 that killed more than 200 Marines in Beirut and the 1998 bombing of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
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He also says he still expected the United States to eventually be defeated by militant Islam.
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"Despite the setback the new battle will lead to the elimination of America and the infidel West even if decades later," the copy says.
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He directs his followers to postpone fighting "the Jews and the crusaders until you purge your ranks of the cowards and stooges."
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In the copy, bin Laden also orders his wives not to remarry after his death and his sons not to join al-Qaida – apparently because of his betrayal, which he refers to throughout the document.
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"I have chosen a path fraught with dangers on which I suffered lots of troubles, pain, betrayal and treason," the will says.
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"I have been saddened like my brother Mujahedeen when we saw ... America, the chief infidel, push the weakest of our people – men, women and children – while the (Islamic) nation stood watching this painful scene as if they were watching an entertaining film," it says, according to the article. (© 2002 The Associated Press 10/26/02)
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