The day before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, former US President Bill Clinton allegedly told a group of businessmen in Australia that he "could have killed" Osama bin Laden years earlier, but didn't, because it would have meant killing innocent civilians.
An audio tape of the alleged statement was released on Wednesday by broadcaster Sky News Australia.
"I nearly got him (Osama bin Laden). And I could have gotten, I could have killed him, but I would have to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children. And then I would have been no better than him. And so I didn't do it," Clinton allegedly said.
Former Australian politician Michael Kroger handed the audio tape to Sky News Australia, which released it for the first time since Clinton's alleged speech was recorded in 2001.
Kroger told the broadcaster that he was amongst the group of about 30 businessmen who attended the event in Melbourne where Clinton allegedly made this statement.
Kroger also said that the audio of Clinton, who allegedly made this statement only 10 hours before the first plane hit the World Trade Centre, was recorded with the former president's permission, but he had forgotten about the recording until last week.