Bin Laden's Mother Says Attack Video a Fake
Reuters, Yahoo! News, 23 December 2001
LONDON (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden's mother was quoted in a British newspaper on Sunday as saying she believes a videotape of her son, which the United States says proves he had prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks, was a fake.

"I believe the evidence against him is not solid. I think the video they produced is doctored,'' Alia Ghanem was quoted as saying by the Mail on Sunday tabloid in an interview conducted by a Saudi journalist.

"The voice is unclear and uneven. There are too many gaps and the statements are very unlike him,'' she said.

The Mail on Sunday said Ghanem was interviewed last week for the paper by Saudi journalist and bin Laden family friend Khalid Batarfi, the managing editor of Saudi newspaper Al Medina.

She was referring to a videotape released by the United States which officials say shows the Saudi-born militant celebrating the massive destruction and death caused when hijacked planes crashed into New York's World Trade Center.

Ghanem said she was convinced her son was not responsible for the attacks but feared he would be killed before his name was cleared.

"Osama is too good a Muslim and too good a person to say or do what the script of the video suggests he said and did,'' she said.

"But I don't agree with everything he says and he knows that. I pray to Allah that he will live until the truth is revealed.''

The United States says the videotape was found in Afghanistan. It was shown around the world on December 13.

Bin Laden's current whereabouts is a mystery with no reported sightings of him for more than a week.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said on Saturday there is a strong possibility that bin Laden was killed in the U.S. bombing of the Tora Bora mountains in eastern Afghanistan.

The United States has said it does not know his whereabouts but has vowed to pursue him until he is captured or killed. There is a $25 million bounty on his head.

Bin Laden is said to be 17th of 57 children born to his father, who was killed in an air crash when his son was a teenager.

His mother said in the newspaper interview he had not called her in six years, to prevent his location being traced through the telephone.

Saudi Arabia revoked bin Laden's citizenship in 1994 and his family has disowned him.

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