LONDON – A British newspaper said Sunday it had obtained a previously unseen video of Usama bin Laden, in which the Saudi-born dissident says that any country siding with Israel is a target for Islamic terrorists.
The Sunday Times newspaper said that unidentified supporters of the Al Qaeda leader claimed sections of the 40-minute video were filmed eight weeks ago.
The newspaper said, however, that the video did not provide enough clues for it to be dated. Britain's Ministry of Defense said it had not seen the film and so could not comment on its contents.
President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, said: "I don't think we even know very much about the origins of this tape, so it's probably not wise to speculate."
"The focus really has to be on what we do in the war in Afghanistan and across the globe as well as what we do at home to try to prevent the attacks," Rice told ABC's This Week.
"I think this tape is not so important in that regard," she said.
The Sunday Times said an Islamic news agency in the English city of Birmingham obtained the video from a Pakistani intelligence official, who said a section had been filmed in March.
The agency, called Al Ansaar, told The Associated Press on Sunday that the Pakistani official had given the tape to one of its reporters in Islamabad about a month ago.
"He said the new section had been filmed in March, but we have no way of verifying that," said Ansaar journalist Imran Khan.
"We know it is authentic film and we know it is bin Laden. He looks very gaunt and not as healthy as he did on previous films," Khan added.
He said the film was on a CD-ROM, which the reporter brought to Britain 10 days ago. The CD-ROM contained a password, which the agency managed to unlock last week.
Khan said the Pakistani official claimed the new section of the video had been shot in southern Afghan border town of Spin Boldak.
According to the newspaper, the new section of the video showed bin Laden sitting underneath a tree wearing a camouflage jacket.
"Concerning the situation we are in, we must praise Allah that he has allowed us to follow the path of [men who are among] the best of creation," the newspaper quoted bin Laden as saying.
The newspaper said another clip featured an interview with bin Laden carried out by a reporter from the Qatari television station Al-Jazeera.
In it bin Laden warned that any country siding with Israel was a target.
"The war is between us and the Jews," the newspaper quoted him as saying. "Any country that steps into the same trench as the Jews has only herself to blame."
Filmed by Al Qaeda cameramen last October, the interview was not broadcast as Al-Jazeera executives felt they had not had sufficient control over the interview, the newspaper said.
Al-Jazeera was not immediately available for comment.
The first word from bin Laden after the Sept. 11 carnage at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon came as the United States struck at his Afghan bases on Oct. 7. In a message taped before the strike but aired afterward on Al-Jazeera, bin Laden reveled in the fear the attacks created. Wearing fatigues and clutching a rifle, he swore that America would not know security until its troops were out of Saudi Arabia.
Since then, he has appeared on seven tapes released by Al-Jazeera, CNN or the Pentagon. Other Al Qaeda tapes have surfaced carrying messages from bin Laden's deputies or images of Al Qaeda training exercises.