The United States has obtained a videotape of Osama bin Laden describing the damage around the World Trade Center as being much greater than he had expected, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.
The videotape makes it "very clear that bin Laden not only had advanced knowledge but is proof he was responsible for planning," one senior official who had seen a transcript of the tape was quoted as saying.
The tape was obtained in Afghanistan during the search of a private home in Jalalabad and Bush administration officials are debating whether and how to make it public, the Post said
According to officials who have access to the 40-minute tape, bin Laden praised God for far greater success than he expected. Osama bin Laden said in the tape that he expected only the top of the World Trade Center towers to collapse, the eventual collapse of the both towers was totally unexpected.
The Bush administration has blamed bin Laden for the September 11 attacks but has not released evidence showing that he directly planned or ordered them.
While officials have said they intercepted communications that allegedly tied bin Laden or associates to the attacks, they have refused to release any materials, citing intelligence concerns.
Some officials hope that making the tape public could counter concern in the Muslim world that bin Laden has been unjustly accused of involvement in the attacks, the Post said.
(Xinhua News Agency December 10, 2001)