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Bin Laden hails September 11 economic losses

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Bin Laden estimated the cost of the September attacks at $3 trillion.  

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Osama bin Laden praises the economic fallout suffered in the United States after the September 11 attacks in part of an undated videotape aired Wednesday by the Middle East Broadcasting Center.

"The whole damage, by the least accounts, is about $3 trillion, by God's will," bin Laden says, according to a CNN translation of the tape.

"All these explosions have been blessed. We pray that may God accept those martyrs who were killed in those hits."

The videotape is part of a documentary, some of which was first aired by Al-Jazeera, the Arabic-language television network based in Doha, Qatar. Al-Jazeera had said it received the documentary from a pro-al Qaeda production company.

MBC said it believes the bin Laden comments were taped in December. In the tape, however, bin Laden says airline layoffs were announced "only two days ago." Such layoffs were announced in September and October.

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There are also reports that captured al Qaeda fighters have said during interrogations that bin Laden's left hand was injured during December's Tora Bora battle. In the latest tape, he is seen gesturing with his left hand.

Another bin Laden videotaped statement released in late December -- after the Tora Bora battle -- shows the al Qaeda leader moving his right hand. His left arm never moves and the left hand is never seen in the video.

The footage aired Wednesday by MBC had sound of bin Laden talking. He is sitting outside on the ground with a mountain range in the background. Flanking him are two aides, including Ayman Al-Zawahiri, a top deputy.

Bin Laden cites various figures to make his point that the attacks were an economic blow to the United States. Praising God, he talks about losses on Wall Street, reduced productivity and thousands of layoffs.

"Some American studies have said that about 70 percent of the American people are suffering from depression and psychological diseases after the events of the collapsed two towers and the damage at the Pentagon," bin Laden says.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Monday he had recently viewed a previously undisclosed tape of bin Laden and that it contained no new information. He said the tape was made last year. Rumsfeld added that he didn't know if the tape aired by Al-Jazeera was the same one he had viewed this past weekend. (Full story)




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