Osama Bin Laden, 1957 – 2001

In Orwell’s novel 1984, there is a figure called Emmanuel Goldstein who functions as an all-purpose enemy, even though we gather in the story that he may actually have died some time ago. Osama Bin Laden has been used in a similar manner by the Powers that Be, by a process of identity theft during the last days of his life. In reality there have been no sightings or reports of him since 2001 {*}. I here argue that he died on or around December 16th, 2001, in consequence of the intensive bombing of his then-residence the Tora Bora caves of eastern Afghanistan; and that he had no involvement in the events of 9/11.

The last months of Bin Laden’s life, July to December, are crucial for us. In July 2001 he was residing for a week in an American hospital in Dubai to treat his kidney trouble, as reported by the French paper Le Figaro. He had an operation on the 4th (1) and he there met CIA station chief Larry Mitchell on 12th July {*}. Many members of the Bin Laden family came to visit him - ‘There goes the story that he’s a black sheep!’ was Mike Ruppert’s laconic comment {*}. He flew off on the 14th in a private jet. We do not hear about Bin Laden again until September 10th, when he reappears in a military hospital in Rawalpindi in Pakistan – with some military protection - again for kidney dialysis (2).

On September 12th a Pakistani newspaper reported OBL’s first denial that he had been involved in the event of 9/11 {*}, then on the 16th OBL’s assistant Abdul Samad faxed a message to the Afghan Islamic Press (in Islamabad, Pakistan) that was broadcast by al-Jazeera in Quatar {*}. In it OBL declared, ‘I categorically state that I have not done this,’ adding that he had an agreement with Mohammed Omar, chief Mullah of the Taliban in Afghanistan, that prohibited his involvement in such political activity {*}. A week later, on 22nd September he gave a longer set of replies to questions from the Pakistani newspaper ‘Ummaut’:

"I was not involved in the September 11 attacks in the United States nor did I have knowledge of the attacks. There exists a government within a government within the United States. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; to the people who want to make the present century a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity. That secret government must be asked as to who carried out the attacks....The American system is totally in the control of the Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States ... I have already said that we are not hostile to the United States. We are against the system, which makes other nations slaves of the United States, or forces them to mortgage their political and economic freedom {*}."

(3) On the 20th September, OBL was officially designated by President Bush as responsible for the attacks. Then on 23rd Secretary of State Colin Powell promised that a paper would shortly be ready with the supporting evidence. Although announced repeatedly, no such paper ever appeared (4). A letter by OBL of 24th September urges Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan to stand firm against aggression from the ‘Crusaders,’ (5) and contains no hint that he might have been involved in the event of 9-11, still less any approval of the notion of attacking America.

In mid-September the Taliban responded to US requests for OBL to be handed over, by saying they would be happy to do so, if some evidence for his complicity in the 9/11 event could be produced. (That may have been unwise, given that the UN Security Council had two years earlier passed a resolution demanding that the Taliban ‘hand over’ Bin Laden, though without specifying to whom (6); however, let us recall that he was regarded as a hero in Afghanistan for having driven out the Soviet Union). After that request for evidence was declined, the Taliban offered on October 1st to give over OBL for trial to an Islamic court in Pakistan - apparently with OBL’s approval {*}; this proposal was vetoed by Pakistan’s President. Days later, the bombs started falling.

On October 1st, Britain’s prime Minister Tony Blair averred: "I have seen absolutely powerful and incontrovertible evidence of his [OBL’s] link to the events of the 11th of September (7). "That statement was presumably related to the UK Government’s ‘Bin Laden Dossier’ which appeared on October 4th – a mere three days before the US/UK bombing began, of one of the poorest nations on Earth. That dossier lacked any references for its didactic and unlikely statements. It was described by the Independent on Sunday as ‘little more than conjecture, supposition and assertions of fact’ (8). Only an ‘updated’ version of this document remains available to investigators {*} (9)

On November 3rd, after the war had begun, al-Jazeera released Bin Laden’s final major statement, in which he viewed Afghanistan as the last in a series of ‘crusader wars {*}’ against Muslim nations, and insisted that there was no evidence of any Afghan involvement in the event of 9/11. British MPs would, I suggest, benefit from reading this statement.

The Real OBL

The Fake Video OBL 

The centrally-important fake ‘Bin Laden’ video appeared in mid-November 2001, shown on al-Jazeera television station, with the main character expressing approval of the 9/11 event and apparently having some degree of foreknowledge. Although much of the tape was only semi-audible, the Pentagon produced its English ‘translation’ on Dec 13th. A year later, in November 2002, the Swiss Institute for Perceptual Artificial Intelligence in Lausanne, commissioned by France-2 television to analyse the tape, expressed confidence that the voice heard was not that of Bin Laden {*}. The main figure of that video did not even resemble OBL {*}, so it remains a mystery how media hacks were prepared to go with such a story at all. That video was the only evidence the US ever produced, to justify its bombing of Afghanistan.

Radio transmissions of OBL’s voice from Tora Bora were normally intercepted by four different intelligence agencies, American, Pakistani, Saudi and Egyptian (10), up until 14th December 2001 when they ceased {*}. His funeral took place on the 16th in Pakistan, as reported in Pakistani and Egyptian newspapers, at an undisclosed location {*}. A four-page will of his surfaced some months later, dated 14th December {*}. In a videoed speech of his broadcast 27 December, 2001, OBL declared, ‘Regardless if Osama is killed or survives, the awakening has started, praise be to God (11),’ and that was his (posthumous) final broadcast.

A Valuable Asset

The Pentagon was able to produce that fake OBL video, without fear of OBL denouncing it, because (I suggest) it knew where he lay, dying. Since then a series of ‘Bin Laden’ tapes has been fabricated, to help the world live in fear. His image has been misused by those concerned to promote global terror. A shelfload of untrue books linking OBL to 9/11 exist, of which Jason Burke’s Al-Qaeda the true Story of Radical Islam is only the most recent. One would prefer to hear from some Muslim researchers, in ascertaining the identity and life-course of this character, fully demonised by the US and UK. Max Hastings wrote on 3rd Sept 2004 in the Daily Mail, ‘If Bush gets back to the White house, more than any other man he will have Osama bin Laden to thank’ – too true!

Shortly after 9/11, the Independent informed its readers that ‘in late August,  Mr bin Laden boasted in an interview with the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi that he was planning an unprecedentedly large strike against the United States (12)’ and this was cited in Ahmed’s book as evidence for Bin Laden’s fiendish intent (13). I ascertained that nothing resembling such an article had ever been published by that Arabic newspaper, which had never conducted an interview with bin Laden (14).

The National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland, apparently has the record of a phone call made by OBL to his mother {*}. There cannot have been many phone lines out of the Tora Bora caves, and did the persons who made this phone-tap record OBL’s preparations for the event of 9/11? (15).

The term ‘Al-Qaeda’ started to be used around 1997/8 as a designation for Islamic terrorist groups (it means ‘the base’ in Arabic (16)). In 1998, FBI-led investigations of bombings of African embassies started using this name (17). These groups lacked any sort of insignia and have been well described as

a loose collection of groups and individuals that doesn't even refer to itself as "Al Qaeda." Most of the affiliated groups have distinct goals within their own countries or regions, and pose little direct threat to the United States’.

Thus there do not exist, or hardly exist, documents by members of such groups referring to themselves as ‘Al-Qaeda’ {*} (although one would like to hear more discussion of this issue). The BBC film series ‘The Power of Nightmares’ gave a compelling account of how the ‘Al-quaeda’ threat was mocked up, because it is so important for the people to have something to fear {*}.

By 1998 the FBI had issued an arrest warrant for OBL in six countries (for his presumed involvement in the Nairobi and Kenya embassy attacks of that year), and yet a British couple had the following experience. Alan and Cindy Thompson ended up in the town of Zhob, Pakistan, after making an unexpected detour, and stayed overnight. They left quickly the next day, after discovering that Bin Laden was in town. They discussed their alarm and surprise with American aid workers, who told them of a similar experience they had had in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where they had to move as their offices were right next door to bin Laden. The Thompsons reported their discovery, but were ignored by the FBI. Cindy stated: ‘We were gobsmacked. We found it incredible that we were offering to give firsthand true information about the most wanted man in the world and the US embassy couldn’t even be bothered to get off their butts…it is about time that this story is told to the world to let the people know the truth…the hunt for bin Laden is a farce (18).’

On the very morning of 9/11, George H.W. Bush met with Osama bin Laden's brother, Shafig bin Laden, at a conference sponsored by the Carlyle Group in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, DC {*}. Then the Anglo-American planes ran nearly five thousand sorties dropping twelve thousand bombs on Afghanistan. To quote Meyssian: ‘The greatest army in the world, for its part, was unable to find the alleged Public Enemy No 1 it was sent to arrest, while Mullah Omar escaped to Pakistan on a motorbike’ (19). There a danger that the real OBL will be lost in a mythologizing process - as the authorities may desire – so that we are left merely with multiple refracted images. For example, an alleged interview by an Arabic paper in November 2001 {*} has OBL deny that he had kidney trouble, or that he visited the Dubai hospital, and has him affirm his readiness to attack America. In October 2004, the US Secretary of State Colin Powell averred that the Pentagon knows where OBL is, somewhere in western Pakistan {*}. Clearly, Emmanuel Goldstein is a much-needed figure.

The Train moves On

Confirmation of how indispensable OBL was as an enemy-image comes from Kabir Mohammed’s story {*}. In the year 2000, Taliban leaders were anticipating the danger posed by OBL’s presence in their country, and consulted Kabir as an ambassador over what to do. He suggested OBL be handed over to the newly-established International Criminal Court in the Hague, and set up a meeting in August 2000 between Taliban representatives and EU official Reiner Weiland in the Sheraton Hotel in Frankfurt, to ascertain in what way they could hand over OBL. This offer was relayed to the US Government (which does not sound quite like what the Taliban had asked for), who responded by appointing Kabir as an Afghan ambassador. In mid-November 2000, the Taliban moved OBL and his henchmen to Daronta, 30 miles outside Kabul, effectively placing them under house arrest. The Taliban placed him in this confined location, where he could be either destroyed by missile attack or arrested and deported. Mere delays and procrastination followed, however, with US apologies being repeatedly sent, for their inaction. Then suddenly it was too late, and on September 15th Kabir was informed ‘the train has moved on,’ and the options now were either the Taliban’s total surrender, or war. He resigned from his ambassador role, and soon the bombs started to fall on his country.

Reading between the lines, the US did not want OBL handed over to an International Criminal Court, where his open testimony could cause a lot of harm, but did want him stuck in Afghanistan, so they could weave their story around him.

An Honest Cop, RIP

The one American who knew more about bin Laden than anyone else’, John O’Neill, was investigating OBL’s alleged involvement in the bombing of the ship USS Cole {*}. He was the FBI’s counter-terrorism chief, in its New York National Security Division office, his speciality being Islamic terrorism. But, he became unduly keen on the pursuit of OBL, and was warned off the case: in November 2000 he was thrown out of the Yemen where he was investigating the Cole bombing, then in August 2001 he fell victim to a framed character-blackening and was dismissed from office. He was finally moved to a different job – in the Twin Towers (20). He does not seem to have appreciated that catching OBL was not quite the name of the game. Bin Laden was the Most Wanted Man on Earth – and America wanted to keep it that way! 

Identity Theft

On October 29th 2004, a macabre Halloween reappearance of ‘Bin Laden’ handed the US election over to Bush. Two men drove up in a white limo to the Al-Jazeera office in Quatar that day and handed the tape over, and it was broadcast two hours later (21). The film  {*} was highly blurred (NB, this link has the whole video, with voice in Arabic). The actor who performed had different eyebrows from OBL (see image below, compiled by Nico Haupt). Haupt wondered ironically ‘I am meanwhile interested, where the ISI always get  their stand-in actors for former CIA payroll buddy Usama Bin Laden’ (ISI =Pakistan Intelligence Service) {*}. The lookalike figure who read the script has been little discussed, but sounded like someone in a rather bored mood reading a speech. ‘One might have expected OBL to speak in an animated way from the heart about the things he believes in, indeed an actor would have performed in a rather more animated way, suggesting that this reader was chosen for the coincidence that he is an OBL look-alike, even though he couldn’t act at all. He was clearly reading a script.  One saw him turning the pages. There was also an obvious cut in the recording’ (22). It seems odd that Al-Jazeera would broadcast a program bound to exert a massive effect upon the US election at such short notice, without first checking its authenticity.

The 9/11 Commission Report (23) wove a story about OBL quite incompatible with that told here. Virtually all of its references are uncheckable, as they allude to FBI memos and the like which are outside the public domain. It contains no quotes at all from OBL: quite a few statements of his have here been quoted or alluded to {*}, but not one appears in the pages of the Commission’s Report, despite its extensive discussion of him. Its references include ‘interrogations’ of Muslims – under torture, for all we know. I suggest that its account is largely fictional. Let us hope that some attempt at real biography will be attempted, before this intriguing character vanishes into that fractured hall of mirrors.

Contemporary evidence is not supporting the notion of Muslim hijackers as responsible for 911 {*} (24), pointing more to a source within the US military {*}, who devised the event themselves {*}, and this issue has to be central in answering the question: who was Bin Laden?


                                                                             Nicholas Kollerstrom   PhD                    of the London 9/11 Sceptics

                                                                                                                                                            February 2005


1. This story was reported in Le Monde and The Guardian on 1st November (but denied by the CIA); also by John Snow on Channel 4 News. Snow first confirmed the story with the British doctor in Dubai who treated Bin Laden: Martin Summers,  of the London 9/11 Sceptics.

2. Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Freedom, How and Why America was Attacked September 11, 2001, 2002, p.223; Thierry Meyssian, 9/11 The big Lie, 2002, p107.

3. This is concordant with a statement of his some years earlier: “We also have been hit with some of the traces of this campaign as we were accused of funding terrorism, and being members of an international terrorist organisation. Their aims in making these allegations were to place psychological pressure on the Mujahideen and their supporters so that they would forsake the obligation of Jihad and the resistance of oppression and American Israeli occupation of Islamic sacred lands. However, our gratitude to God, their campaign was not successful, as terrorising the American occupiers is a religious and logical obligation…As for their accusations of terrorising the innocent, the children, and the women, these are in the category "accusing others with their own affliction in order to fool the masses". The evidence overwhelmingly shows America and Israel killing the weaker men, women, and children in the Muslim world and elsewhere…Then, killing hundreds of thousands of children in Iraq, and whose numbers (of dead) continue to increase as a result of the sanctions. Despite the continuing American occupation of the country of the two sacred mosques, America continues to claim that it is upholding the banner of freedom and humanity, whilst these deeds which they did, you would find that the most ravenous of animals would not descend to…As for what America accuses us of, of killing innocent people, they have not been able to offer any evidence, despite the magnitude of their expenditure on their intelligence services…Similar is our history with respect to our differences with the Saudi regime: all that has been proved is our joy at the killing of the American soldiers in Riyadh and Khobar.” {*} October 1996.  4. Meyssan 9/11, pp. 82,102.

5. R. Jacquard’s In the Name of Osama Bin Laden (2002) has just this one post-911 letter, p.258.

6. UN Security Council Resolution 1267, passed 15 Oct, 1999.

7. The Daily Telegraph, London, 1 October 2001.

8. For comments on untruthful information in this UK dossier, see Burke, Al-Qaeda p.17.

9. Earlier versions (cited by Meyssian 9/11, p.225) are no longer accessible.. Jason Burke discussed this dossier, finding that eg its linking OBL’s name to the attack on US military personell serving in Somalia was ‘almost certainly untrue,’ (Al-Qaeda, p.17). and it concluded: ‘the British intelligence specialists must have known that the dossier they gave to the Prime Minister to reveal to parliament and the British public to justify involvement in a major conflict included demonstrably false material but felt the war in Afghanistan needed to be fought and the public needed to be convinced of it. Painting Bin Laden as profiting from the heroin trade served the same purpose as atrocity stories about Germans in world War One…’

10. Ahmed, War on Freedom,, p. 220.

11. Jason Burke, Al-QaedaThe true Story of Radical Islam, 2004, xiv.

12. The Independent, 17.11.2001 A.Gumbel, ‘Bush did not heed several warnings of attack.’

13. Ahmed, War on Freedom, p115.

14. Mr Ahmed Dabbur, at the London office of al-Quds al-Arabi kindly checked through their archives; all their newspaper (in Arabic) is on the web.

15. OBL is alleged to have phoned his Mother on September 9th saying ‘In two days you’re going to hear big news, and you’re not going to hear from me for a while’ (Ahmed, p.117). One wonders whether these words are meant to be present in this phone call recording held by the NSA?

16. It was OBL’s name for his computer file, used while employed by the CIA in Afghanistan, to co-ordinate the ‘jihad’ against the Soviet Union: Meyssan, 9/11, p.99.

17. Burke, Al-Qaeda ref 6, p.6.

18. Kenyon Gibson, Common Sense: A Study of the Bushes, the CIA and the Suspicions Regarding 9/11 Lebanon ASP 2003 p.201. The Thompsons are living in Lincoln.

19. Messyan, 9/11, p.125.

20. O’Neill emerged from the first Twin Tower inferno, then went of his own accord into the second one to try and rescue people, where he met his nemesis.

21. ‘OBL’s October Surprise’ The Independent 31 Oct 2004, A. Buncoombe.

22.  Comment by Noel Glynn, of London 9/11 Sceptics.

23. The 9/11 Commision Report, NY 2004, cites no authors or editors, only a list of Commission Members with no hint of who they are or whether they are contactable.

24. David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbour, Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11, 2004.


Web links here used:









www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page3682.asp p.2










www.propagandamatrix.com ,