- NEW YORK (Reuters) -
stood even firmer in their views that Osama bin Laden masterminded the
Sept. 11 attacks after watching a videotape released on Thursday in which
the Saudi-born militant says the attacks were more deadly than he
- Trading slowed on Wall Street and clusters of people
in Times Square stood motionless for a moment before the billboard
screen there to watch the low-quality videotape the United States said
clearly implicated bin Laden in the attacks that killed about 3,300
- "Maybe, for someone, this will be the smoking gun.
But I don't need no more convincing," said Yvonne Torlio, a health
care worker who watched the broadcast at Times Square.
- New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said the tape showed
that bin Laden was the "personification of evil."
- "He is obviously delighted he killed more people
than he anticipated," Giuliani said at a news conference. "Unless
he was brought to justice he would kill a lot more innocent human
- Delivery man Mike Contandi joined the crowds watching
the tape in Times Square, just a few miles (kilometers) from the site where
two hijacked airplanes slammed into the World Trade Center, collapsing
the twin towers. In the tape, bin Laden talks about his calculations of
death in felling the 110-story towers.
- "The smoking gun will be when we finally catch bin
Laden," said Contandi.
- For Ryan Amundson of Brookfield, Wisconsin, the tape
only added fuel to the rage he felt over the attacks.
- "It renewed a sense of anger in me. Just to see
them sitting there and laughing and going about things nonchalantly while
they're talking about killing thousands of Americans," he said.
- "They were acting like it was business as usual
for them. It made me angry -- again," Amundson said.
- WALL STREET PAUSES
- Wall Street traders said the airing of the roughly
videotape at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) significantly dampened market action
as participants stopped watching their trading screens and turned their
attention to television screens.
- "We already knew what was on there. It's not very
interesting. I'm more interested to see the reaction from the world
and how they take it," said Wall Street trader Brian Pears, head of
equity trading at Victoria Capital Management in Ohio.
- U.S. officials say the tape, released by the Pentagon
and accompanied by an official U.S. government translation, proves bin
Laden was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and
that killed nearly 3,300 people.
- "(Inaudible) we calculated in advance the number
of casualties from the enemy, who would be killed based on the position
of the tower," bin Laden says in the U.S. translation.
- "We calculated that the floors that would be hit
would be three or four floors. I was the most optimistic of them
- Bin Laden, who inherited millions from his family's
fortune in Saudi Arabia, makes reference to his own knowledge of that
- "(Inaudible) due to my experience in this field,
I was thinking that the fire from the gas in the plane would melt the iron
structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and
all the floors above it only," bin Laden said. "This is all that
we had hoped for."
- Instead, the weight of the upper floors brought down
the entire structures as they collapsed.
- The amateur videotape shows a relaxed and smiling bin
Laden sitting and talking to a group of people. It was shot in November
and found in Afghanistan, U.S. officials said.
- Alan Dean, a financial industry worker from San Diego,
who was visiting New York, said that he did not see any need for releasing
the tape. He said there was already enough evidence that implicated bin
- "Do we really need to release it? It didn't change
my thoughts or opinions," Dean said.