Evidence connecting 9/11 to bin Laden

What evidence points to bin Laden being responsible for September 11th?

Errr… Video taped confession maybe ?

I got confused because wikipedia did not mention such a tape in its article. Researching it, five days after the article was printed (Nov 16 2001), the New York Times said no one’s actually seen the tape, and wondered out loud, in quite a number of words, why the Britain government did not reveal it. I haven’t found any mention of this tape since.

This was the first Video after 9-11 (released by Al Queda in November 2001)is where I am just gobsmacked that anyone can watch and still say OBL wasn’t behind 9-11…

I believe that Here is the 2007 Video referenced by the griffen1977 article.

As you know anyone can post on YouTube or Wiki. I would not go to Wiki on such a politically charged issue it just can’t work.

[strikethrough]Video doesn’t work.[/strikethrough] EDIT: it works now.

Wikipedia says this about it: "In a videotape recovered by US forces in November 2001 in Jalalabad, bin Laden was seen discussing the attack with Khaled al-Harbi in a way indicating foreknowledge.[61] The tape was broadcast on various news networks on 13 December 2001. Some have disputed this translation however. Arabist Dr. Abdel El M. Husseini stated: “This translation is very problematic. At the most important places where it is held to prove the guilt of bin Laden, it is not identical with the Arabic.”

I watched through the tape, which was translated apparently by al qaeda itself, and did not read one word that sounded like an admission. EDIT: I think you mispoke. Griffen’s tape is from 2001, this one is unrelated.

No, I came here.

While I am not sure what an “Arabist” is, Dr. Abdel El M. Husseini, states on a German TV program all the things you say he does.

I invite you to investigate what he and the other translator actually dispute is “inaccurate” here :

A. Most of the Tape is bin Laden and his followers claiming to have mystical premonitions of the attacks (usually on the WTC) but at 5:07 he is talking about the highjackers &, even if we take all of the German’s specific objections at face value, he clearly is claiming that he trained these guys, in the U.S and Europe.

I actually have always contended that it shows Bin Laden as he actually is as he seems to say some of the Muscle Highjackers didn’t know it was a suicide mission until the plane was flying into the Buildings & OBL seems to find this uproariously funny. FTR Western Intelligence Agencies were saying this before this tape surfaced

B. But really I would point you to NPR who did their own Translation and transcript. NPR now – this isn’t the Pentagon or Rumsfeld – this is NPR. I know its not “Monitor” but still its pretty credible.

You were right about Griffen I think his references the first video the one we are watching and discussing that was released later that Month. The second one was just the Anniversary Video where he takes credit and Al Jeezera vouches for it. I am not sure what “Monitor”'s take is on this, if they have had a chance to offer us thier analysis of this one.

NPR did not prepare that translation. That translation is, verbatim, the translation of the Pentagon: U.S. Department of Defense

One could look at the report of the 9/11 Commission. This chapter goes into quite some detail about the planning.


You are right. I didn’t research it beyond google. That was dumb as crap and I apologize to you and everyone who read that.

So I offer this, I see you are a NYTimes guy. Here is the Gray Lady stepping up to the plate:
*The New York Times verified the translation with two independent interpreters, who found no significant errors but said that an authoritative translation would require an Arabic transcript. It was impossible to tell from the tape, which jumps among several scenes, if anything was edited.
So, to GQ sum up on this tape on one side we have:
The Pentagon, George Michael, translator, Diplomatic Language Services; and Dr. Kassem M. Wahba, Arabic language program coordinator, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. The New York Times’ two independent translators. Al Jeezrea. Pravda of a conspiratorial anti-American bent, but importantly here their translator doesn’t dispute what is being said on the Tape but only that it could be “over-dubbed”. And never anything by Al Queda saying that this is a lie.

On the other we have :
The German Program MONITOR, Dr. Murad Alami, “academic level translator” and “Arabist” Dr. Abdel El M. Husseini.

I don’t want to offer any comment on the weight of the evidence of the accuracy of the translation of the tape. But I think it is GQ to just point that out.

Here “arabist” is a translation of the German, well, “Arabist”. Apparently it’s not a good translation because the English term is obscure and ambiguous. In German it is completely clear what it means. An “Arabist” is someone who has a degree in “Arabistik”, the study of Arabic language, literature and culture. The equivalent for English would be “Anglist”, for German “Germanist” etc.

jimmy, it’s really not so clear. The NYTimes simply said, as the news was breaking, “we asked a couple people, and they said there didn’t seem anything immediately wrong.” However, until someone provides a cite addressing Dr. Alami’s specific points, it is irresponsible to say evidence weighs against him.

Moreover, Pravda’s accusation that words were dubbed-over are misplaced. Although the tape is of such poor quality as to make dubbing easy (people’s lips can barely be seen), the tape is of such poor quality that independent translators simply can’t make out what is being said half of the time.

Thank you for providing this link. I was wondering what the Commission had to say. Unfortunately, the Report seems to be a mere narrative that doesn’t explain the evidence substantiating it.

It seems, and correct me if I am wrong, the narrative was constructed primarily from the interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the actual mastermind and leader of 9/11. It is not clear if KSM was under duress, or even torture, or if there are any elements in the story that can be objectively corroborated.
As this thread unfolds, it seems more and more weight is being lent to the claim that the FBI never indicted bin Laden regarding 9/11 simply because there is no firm, court-admissable evidence to do so.

Hmm… researching Khalid Sheikh Mohammad further, it seems it was not until March 2007, after four years in captivity having undergone waterboarding and, allegedly, other forms of torture (first at a secret prison then at Guantanamo), that KSM confessed to everything from 9/11 to personally severing the head of Daniel Pearl to directing the idiot who tried to blow up his shoes.

The endnotes are available here. There is also a few paragraphs worth of discussion about the value of evidence received from interrogations in the report I linked to. You may not be satisfied with the 9/11 report’s style or conclusions, but there is most certainly an explanation of what evidence is used to reach what conclusions. There’s 132 footnotes in the chapter I linked to.

The whole point of the 9/11 Commission was to have an independent evaluation of the events of 9/11.

KSM also was not indicted for 9/11. The more likely answer is that the Administration chose not to present indictments on these individuals so that they would not enter the US legal system for the 9/11 attacks. This fits in with the legal strategy of trying them before a military tribunal. Why would the government indict someone they never intend to try before a federal court? Just for fun? Let’s get real: 9/11 conspiracy theorists wouldn’t be convinced that UBL was behind it simply because the government indicted him for it, so what’s the point?

The problem with 9/11 is simply that it all was so much destruction for so little money and effort.

I went to school with people form Egypt and all of them sincerely believe that Israel didn’t get defeated in 1973 because the US fought the Egyptians not the Israelis. When I asked them they all say simply, Israel is too small a country to defeat Israel alone. Oddly I know Jordanians and none take this view, but the Egyptians honestly and are genuine in their belief a small nation like Israel could beat Egypt without actual help. (We’re not talking supplys they believe the US actually fought for Israel)

Same for 9/11 they say it was too complex to pull off, but it wasn’t and it just shows how easy it is.

If you had told me on Sept 10th a plane would be hijacked I would’ve said “OK it could happen, but not likely.” If you had told me FOUR planes would be hijacked, not flown into a building but merely hijacked, I would have argued impossible.

But in reality America is so open it would be incredibly easy to pull a terrorist attack.

If you go to YouTube you can see 9/11 as it happens and on one video a woman is on her phone talking to the news anchor, describing how she saw a jet fly into the World Trade Center then she screams “Oh my God another plane just hit the second tower.” The news anchor said “no it was an explosion.” The witness on no I just saw it a plane flew into the building, while the anchor says “No it looked like an explosion.” She repeats I just SAW the plane fly into the building.

You see how unbelievable this is? Even with an eyewitness saying what happened as it happened, people couldn’t accept it.

There is another tape where yet another woman is on the phone talking to another anchorman on a NY TV station and she said “A second plane just hit the second tower,” the she calmly adds “what’s going on with the air traffic controllers today?” It didn’t dawn on her anyone could’ve did this.

The bad thing is as time passes we forget what was and history gets rewritten, by people taking select bits of tape.

OK Alex. Reasonable people can disagree about the relative weight and importance of what is lined up against Arabist Dr. Abdel El M. Husseini’s objections on this tape and the relative seriousness of what he is actually specifically objecting to in the translation on the record vs. how it is characterized on Monitor. Having said that:

I think your characterization of the NYTimes article would be fair on the SDMBGD as long as we note that the “couple of people" the NYTimes asked were what the paper called “independent translators”.

I think your characterization of Pravda is basically fine. They actually cast more of a stink eye at the tape than you imply for a number of reasons. However they clearly hired/asked an Arabic translator and that translator said the translation is accurate but there were XYZ problems with the tape. We were discussing GQ whether the translation was accurate & I think Pravda, basically is a defense witness that it is, although they clearly would be on the side of any 9-11 conspiracist who came down the pike.

I am sorry, I may have even affected the situation, but I do not want this to be a debate about 9/11 or conspiracies. I only want an honest focus on the OP question (although many people may find it difficult), as is in line with GQ

To review, the evidence against Osama bin Ladin being the mastermind, mentioned in this thread, are:

  1. Video confessions. However, some early claims of “confessions” seem to have been discredited (or rather, never corroborated by public tape). A public tape of bin Ladin in private seems to implicate him, but there is disagreement about what is said, as well as questions of its legitimacy. Both stem from its very poor audio and video quality.

What was mentioned but not discussed is bin Laden claiming, both in the early tape and also much later in 2004, to have known and personally trained the hijackers. It is not clear, as I understand, if he is talking about some period in the past as part of his camps or immediately in prepration for the act.

What was not mentioned is that bin Laden, in several tapes, has actively denied involvement. A point for discussion: is there a motive or precedent for a denial?

  1. Detailed implication by Khalid Sheikh Mohammad during interrogation. The interrogation occured in a foreign CIA prison, possibly under torture.
    What other evidence is there? Side question: in a court of law, what are the thresholds for admissable evidence?

We should continue discussing the “hanging-out” tape as it seems the strongest candidate, so far, to being evidence. (Which fact I find rather surprising.)

Can anyone find an actual, full, discussion of the controversy? Let’s not pursue any idle talk about what a single sentence in the NYTimes might imply. What might also be useful is if anyone here speaks Arabic and might listen to it and comment.

EDIT: The was an edit-typo in the first post. Please don’t comment on it. You can think it was a freudian slip if you want, but honestly it was just a piecing of two sentences together.