2008-07-23 22:50:22 GMT 2008-07-24 06:50:22 (Beijing Time) xinhuanet
WASHINGTON, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Osama bin Laden's former driver has heard the al-Qaida leader express satisfaction with the death toll of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks at the U.S. which was more than his expectation, according to a news report on Wednesday.
Citing a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, the Washington Post report said that the arrested driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, told U.S. interrogators at the Guantanamo detention center bin Laden was "happy about the results" of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000, while his expectation on the death toll was "only" 1,000 to 1,500.
The agent, Ali Soufan, also told Hamdan's military trial that during an interrogation in 2002, the driver said he had directly witnessed a meeting on Sept. 11, 2001, in Kabul, Afghanistan, between bin Laden and Khalid Sheik Mohammed, self-claimed mastermind of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, when the al-Qaida leader praised the 19 suicide hijackers-to-be for "their courage."
Soufan testified to support prosecutors' depiction of Hamdan as a loyal member of the terrorist group who has helped to transport weapons, while the defense lawyers claimed he was only an employee without direct involvement in any terrorist acts, according to the report.
Hamdan was the first of the charged terrorist suspects who was tried before the special "war crime court" set by a U.S. military trial at the Guantanamo base. He was charged with "conspiracy" and "material support for terrorism," and faced life imprisonment if convicted.
The report said that he walked out of the courtroom on Wednesday when a video of his interrogation by U.S. authorities was played.
"Mr (Salim) Hamdan does not want to watch the video," one of his lawyers told the military officer presiding over the terrorism trial.
In the video footages shot two days after his capture in Afghanistan in November, 2001, Hamdan was shown with a thick beard and cuffed hands, kneeling on the floor and struggling to answer questions by interrogators.
In a preliminary hearing, Hamdan claimed that he was tortured and humiliation during detention and interrogation.
BEIJING, July 22 (Xinhuanet) -- Osama bin Laden's former driver, Salim Hamdan, pleaded not guilty on Monday before a special "war on terror" military tribunal at the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the first U.S. war crimes trial since World War II.
Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni who has admitted driving for the fugitive al Qaeda leader, pleaded not guilty to the charges of of conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism. Full story
CAIRO, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden on Sunday issued a message via an Islamic website to Muslims all over the world, in which he lashed out at Arab governments which he says side with the West Israel and thus fail the Palestinians, while calling on Muslim militants to help break the blockade of Gaza.
In an audio tape posted on the internet on Sunday, bin Laden said that the Palestinian territories could not be liberated without fighting Arab governments which support Israel, which is weak but for the Western backing. Full story