|Bin Laden vows never to be captured alive|
Cario (Egypt), Feb 20: In an audiotape posted on a militant web site today, a voice purporting to be that of Osama bin Laden vowed never to be captured alive and declared the us military in Iraq had resorted to the same "barbaric" tactics used by ousted ruler Saddam Hussein. The tape appeared to be a complete version of one that was first broadcast Jan. 9 on al-Jazeera, the pan-Arab satellite channel, in which bin laden offered the US a truce but also said his al-Qaida terror network would soon launch a fresh attack on American soil.
"I have sworn to only live free. Even if I find bitter the taste of death, I don’t want to die humiliated or deceived," bin Laden said. In drawing the comparison to American military behaviour in Iraq to that of Saddam, the speaker said: "The jihad is continuing with strength, for Allah be all the credit, despite all the barbarity, the repressive steps taken by the American army and its agents, to the extent that there is no longer any mentionable difference between this criminality and the criminality of Saddam."
The tape’s release in January came days after a us airstrike in Pakistan that was targeting bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, and reportedly killed four leading al-Qaida figures, including possibly al-Zawahri’s son-in-law. There was no mention of the attack on the segments that were broadcast.
It was the first tape from the al-Qaida leader in more than a year – the longest period without a message since the September 11 2001 suicide hijackings in the US.