WASHINGTON (AP) Not that they had any doubts, but senators who reviewed the tape of Osama bin Laden said yesterday they hope it will convince the rest of the world that he”s responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

“What”s on it is a frightening display of evil. Here are three men, sitting in what looks like a common room for that part of the world, calmly discussing the events of September 11 like it was last weekend”s golf game,” said Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) after viewing the tape. “Osama bin Laden is laughing, grinning and marveling at the destruction and death of September 11.”

The tape is expected to be made public as early as today. The amateurish video apparently meant for internal al-Qaida use records a conversation between bin Laden and a Saudi Arabian sheik, whom officials know little about and have declined to identify. Two bin Laden associates spiritual adviser Ayman al-Zawahri and spokesman Abu Ghaith also appear in the tape, Durbin said.

After reviewing it, Durbin and other senators on the intelligence committee called on the Bush administration to release the tape, which was found in an abandoned residence in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

“This is a basic acknowledgment by Osama bin Laden of his central role in the 9-11 planning of the events at the Trade towers and the Pentagon,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), vice chairman of the intelligence committee. “I believe the tapes ought to be released. The timing is up to our policymakers and the president. I believe it would explain to a lot of people that have been doubting Osama bin Laden”s culpability that it”s there.”

Other senators expressed similar sentiments.

“It tells me that he is culpable, that he clearly knew that Mohammad Atta was the leader, that he clearly knew what was going to happen before it happened,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). “The inference was that there was a plan to make it happen.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said he hopes the tape will refute claims from bin Laden”s supporters that he was not behind the attacks and end rumors that other groups were responsible. He cited suspicions in Pakistan suggesting the attack was a Jewish plot to draw the United States into a war on Islam.

“This video will open a lot of eyes,” Wyden said. “The world will see that you are dealing with the level of pathology that is very, very twisted and sick.”

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