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RESPONSE TO TERROR

Afghan Videos May Show Plan for a U.S. Attack

January 14, 2002|From Times Wire Services

SYDNEY, Australia — The Australian Broadcasting Corp. has obtained videotapes it said showed Al Qaeda militants rehearsing an attack on world leaders at a golf tournament and on a motorcade in what appears to be Washington.

The network late Sunday aired parts of the videos recorded at an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, which showed what ABC said were English-speaking Arab, Pakistani and African fighters rehearsing hostage-takings and assassinations.

The network said the tapes would be sent to the United States for analysis by military intelligence.

The tapes were discovered by the Northern Alliance in a camp near Kabul shortly after the Taliban regime fled the Afghan capital.

The United States is hunting Osama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader Washington has accused of masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks.

Since the rout of the Taliban last month, various news organizations have stumbled on bomb-making pamphlets, training manuals and other documents in abandoned camps believed to have been run by Bin Laden's organization.

The ABC said the amateur videotapes were handed to its reporters by Northern Alliance officials.

Running for more than six hours, they show Al Qaeda members rehearsing hostage-taking scenarios and assassinations, according to the extracts.

The exercises included detailed plans to attack a motorcade on what appeared to be a road system in Washington.

In another scenario, trainees with weapons hidden in golf bags carried out a rocket launcher attack on dummies apparently meant to represent world leaders at a golf tournament.

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