Saturday September 15, 5:55 PM
Lebanese Druze leader believes others responsible for US attacks
BEIRUT, Sept 15 (AFP) -
Lebanon's anti-Syrian Druze leader Walid Jumblatt believes the CIA and Israel's secret service Mossad are behind the terrorist attacks in the United States, and that Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden is an "American agent," newspaper reports said Saturday.
"There are a number of questions on the authors of the attacks in America. I think they (the attacks) were a great coup carried out by the secret services. The CIA and the Mossad could be behind (the attacks) to provoke a new war and impoverish and occupy the Middle East," Jumblatt was quoted as saying.
"Who is bin Laden who has become the number one (enemy) of western civilisations? He is an invention of the American secret services who chose to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan with US backing," said Jumblatt, who had ties with the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991.
"It is an enormous scandal because in 1994, the CIA pointed the finger at bin Laden as a very dangerous man," Jumblatt said, adding: "It is also surprising that a great state which has a military budget of 350 billion dollars, was not able to thwart these attacks."
"One should find out whether the American (secret) services are implicated in starting a merciless war between America and the racist West against Arabs and the Muslims," he said.
Jumblatt, who defends the Palestinian uprising and their right to an independent state, also expressed concern that the "war against terrorism" could develop into a "huge massacre of Palestinians."
"Under the pretext of fighting bin Laden, the Zionists may commit a huge massacre in Palestine to push through an exodus of its Arab residents and give the green-light to (Prime Minister Ariel Sharon) to carry out a huge massacre," Jumblatt said.
He also called on Britain to "present its apologies to the Arab and Muslim people for its crime: the creation of Israel."
Britain, which in 1920 was granted a mandate over Palestine up until the 1948 creation of the Israeli state, promised to aid the "Jews to create a home in Palestine," during the 1917 Balfour declaration often considered to have led to the establishment of the Jewish state.
Jumblatt, who was presiding over a ceremony in the Shouf mountains southeast of Beirut, also called on the audience to observe one minute of silence in memory of the "innocent (people) killed in the World Trade Center."
The silence was also held in memory of the "Arabs killed in Palestine, in south Lebanon, in Syria, Jordan and Iraq in the war against Israel," he said.