Was it really Osama?

Was it really Osama?

By Joe Baker

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

In a rare interview in the Russian daily Izvestia, the leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Burhanuddin Rabbani, discounted Osama bin Laden as the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, calling him a “small fish” and calling for a major investigation of those events.

U.S. national media has been building an almost hysterical hype around bin Laden, beginning with another recent video that purports to confirm his origination of the attacks.

Here is the relevant portion of the interview:

IZVESTIA: Are Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar still alive? If so, where are they now?

RABBANI: Their fate doesn’t interest me. They are very small fish.

IZVESTIA: But they destroyed the peace of the whole world.

RABBANI: It interests me very much, to know, how such a complex, multilayered, painstakingly planned and technically masterfully organized terrorist operation, as the attack on the U.S.A. on Sept. 11, could have been organized and carried out by a small group of bandits, sitting in uninhabited Afghan mountains. Personally this is incomprehensible to me.

IZVESTIA: You mean, you doubt, that the guilty party in the American tragedy of the 21st Century was bin Laden?

RABBANI: And don’t you doubt it too? A big investigation is absolutely necessary. Of course, anything is possible. I never met bin Laden, but people have come to me, who sat at the same table with him and observed him in various situations.

Not a single one of these told me that bin Laden is a great personality. On the contrary, all who knew him spoke of him as a simple field commander. Bin Laden sat for a long time in the caves. One does not control the world from such a place.

IZVESTIA: Is it possible that other people were behind bin Laden? And are behind him now?

RABBANI: Without a doubt. And I would like to know who exactly.

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