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Tuesday
Nov152011

al Qaeda Leader Remembers Weepy, 'Delicate' Bin Laden

AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a new video, al Qaeda's new leader invites viewers to take a moment to remember the "delicate," "human side" of Osama bin Laden, the terrorist leader who gleefully claimed responsibility for the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al Qaeda deputy who slipped into the top spot at al Qaeda after bin Laden was taken out by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs in May, claims in the recently released video that he has been asked by "his brethren" to talk about his time with bin Laden and "shed light on the human side of Osama bin Laden -- his noble, refined side."

"People probably don't know, they remember the lion of Islam threatening America and [former President George W.] Bush, but people don't know that he was a very delicate, nice, shy man," Zawahiri says in the video, which also features a dramatic musical score and a photo montage of bin Laden.

Absent from the video is the common sight of Zawahiri's automatic rifle at his side, as is the violent rhetoric and typical calls for attacks on the U.S. Instead, Zawahiri speaks for half an hour about his fond memories of tender times with bin Laden.

"He was known for crying and tearing up very easily," Zawahiri says. "He would tell me that certain brothers would tell him to try and hold them back a bit and I told him that it was a blessing he had."

For a decade before his death bin Laden was America's most wanted terrorist and sported the highest bounty on the U.S. government's Rewards for Justice program -- $27 million. In addition to claiming responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, bin Laden was wanted for his connection to the 1998 bombing of U.S, embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, which claimed more than 200 lives.

His death, one U.S. official told ABC News, marked the "single greatest victory in the U.S.-led campaign to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda."

President Barack Obama said of bin Laden's death that "justice has been done" and it was a "good day for America."

After bin Laden's death and that of high-profile terror recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki, Zawahiri is now America's most wanted terrorist and the U.S. government is offering $25 million for information leading to his capture.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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