The Bush administration has released a videotape of Osama bin Laden in which he reveals advance knowledge of last September's suicide attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The Pentagon says the videotape, with its poor quality audio track, was obtained by U.S. forces in Afghanistan in late November. In it, Osama bin Laden is heard saying "we calculated in advance the number of casualties" from the crash of hijacked airliners into New York's Twin Towers.
He also says al-Qaida knew days in advance that the combined attacks would take place on September 11 - not only in New York but also in Washington. But bin Laden says "we did not reveal the operation" to all the hijackers involved until just before they boarded the planes.
Bin Laden says he and his supporters were - according to the transcript -"overjoyed" when they heard news of the plane crashes on the radio.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says in a statement there was no doubt of bin Laden's responsibility for the September 11 attacks even before the highly publicized tape was discovered.
The Pentagon says it released the tape after weighing concerns it might cause additional pain to families of victims. It says it was more important, however, to have the world fully appreciate what the United States is combating in the war against terrorism.
The Pentagon says it does not know who made the video. The English translation was prepared by two experienced independent translators who compared it with translations done by the U.S. government. The Pentagon says there were no inconsistencies.