Monday, January 25, 2010

AJE: Complete Bin Laden Audio and Text

A few obvious points about the new Bin Laden tape:

First of all, presuming that this really is from him, it's striking that nothing is said about the Dec. 30 attack on the CIA base in Afghanistan that killed seven of the Agency's employees, including a top AQ tracker. The bomb also took out a cousin of Jordan's King Abdullah working with the GID. Why wouldn't Bin Laden claim credit for that operation, too? Presumably because it had not happened when this was recorded. So it's fair to surmise this was taped between the failed Umar Farouk attack on the Christmas Day flight to Detroit and the Al-Balawi suicide bombing at FOB Chapman, Afghanistan, on December 30. That would mean it is almost a month old.

Secondly, the reference to Palestine generally and Gaza specifically is incongruous at this particular moment. Partly that's for reasons pointed out by the various analysts Al Jazeera cites below. Al Qaeda has never been embraced by Hamas, specifically, or the Palestinians, generally. Their fight is against Israel, not the whole Western world, and that's quite enough. They don't need to broaden their range of enemies. However, December 27 was the one year anniversary of the beginning of the Israeli siege of Gaza, which provoked intense anger throughout the Arab and Muslim world. One would have to presume that is also the likely occasion for this tape.

Conclusion, it takes a long time for an audio recording of OBL to make its way from wherever he is to the offices of AJE, whether in Qatar or elsewhere. That suggests he is still in a hole somewhere and gives us yet another reason to believe he does not have any sort of operational control over attacks against the United States or other targets. What he can do -- about all he can do -- is sit back and take credit for helping to inspire the mayhem to begin with.

Bin Laden warns US of more attacks

Osama bin Laden has warned Barack Obama, the US president, that there will be further attacks on the United States unless he takes steps to resolve the Palestinian situation.

In an audio tape obtained by Al Jazeera on Sunday, the al-Qaeda chief, praised the Nigerian accused of a failed attempt to blow up an airliner heading for Detroit on Christmas Day.

"The message I want to convey to you through the plane of the hero Umar Farouk [Abdulmutallab], reaffirms a previous message that the heroes of 9/11 conveyed to you," Bin Laden said.

"America will never dream of living in peace unless we live it in Palestine. It is unfair that you enjoy a safe life while our brothers in Gaza suffer greatly.

"Therefore, with God's will, our attacks on you will continue as long as you continue to support Israel," bin Laden said.

"If it was possible to carry our messages to you by words we wouldn't have carried them to you by planes."...

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