Bin Laden, Still Alive and Well?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ARogueTrader, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Al-Jazeera airs bin Laden tape appearing to refer to Saddam capture

    Sun Jan 4, 5:32 PM ET Add World - AFP to My Yahoo!

    DUBAI (AFP) - Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television night aired an audiotape attributed to Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) in which he appeared to refer to the December 13 capture of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and at least one other recent development.

    Gulf leaders "know that their turn is coming" after seeing "the capture of their former comrade in treason and collaboration with America," the speaker purported to be the Al-Qaeda terror chief said.

    The reference to the capture of the ousted Iraqi leader "shows that the tape was recently recorded," Al-Jazeera's news anchor said.

    Listing US-led "conspiracies" against the Islamic nation, the voice also referred to the "Geneva peace initiative", an unofficial Israeli-Palestinian peace plan which was officially unveiled in the Swiss city on December 1.

    "The audiotape contains new things. It refers to the Geneva Initiative and the capture of Saddam Hussein on December 13," Al-Jazeera editor Ibrahim Hilal earlier told AFP.

    The man said to be bin Laden also spoke of the triple suicide bombings last May in Riyadh, citing "the Riyadh bombings in Rabih al-Awal this year" -- the date according to the Muslim calendar.

    The attacks were blamed on sympathizers of the Saudi-born terror mastermind, whose whereabouts have been unknown since the United States launched a military campaign in Afghanistan (news - web sites) in October 2001.

    Another suicide bombing rocked a residential compound in the Saudi capital in November.

    The man said to be bin Laden, who was stripped of his Saudi citizenship a decade ago, lashed out at Gulf Arab rulers for cooperating with the United States and charged that Saudi leaders had launched their crackdown on Islamist militants "before the Riyadh bombings in Rabih al-Awal this year."

    They had done so at Washington's behest "in the hope of winning its approval," the voice said.

    The last bin Laden audiotape, aired by Al-Jazeera on October 18, appeared to be several months old. The Dubai-based Al-Arabiya satellite channel aired an audiotape attributed to bin Laden on December 20, but Al-Jazeera said it was the same one it had run more extensively two months earlier.

    In the new tape, the speaker said to be bin Laden warned that unless the United States was stopped, it would go on occupying Saudi Arabia and the entire oil-rich Gulf region after Iraq (news - web sites).

    "There can be no dialogue with the occupiers except with weapons," the speaker said.

    He urged Muslims to resort to jihad, or holy war, to "repel the huge conspiracies woven against our nation" -- from "the crusaders' occupation of Baghdad using the weapons of mass destruction deceit ... to the fierce attempt to crush the jihad and the mujahedeen in beloved Palestine using the deceit of the roadmap and the Geneva peace initiative."

    The United States was feverishly going after "those who raise the banner of jihad under the guise of fighting terrorism, with the help of the hypocrites, because they all know that jihad is the potent force that can thwart all plots," the speaker said.

    The speaker also lashed out at the United States for urging Muslim countries to reform their education systems.

    "The Americans' intentions have also transpired through their statements about the need to change the beliefs, curricula and ethics of Muslims -- to make them more tolerant, as they put it," the speaker said.

    The latest tape was aired amid heightened fears of a possible terror strike along the lines of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States blamed on Al-Qaeda, leading British Airways to cancel a number of flights to Washington and Riyadh.

    The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers said two weeks ago he was "confident" bin Laden's whereabouts would eventually be uncovered, much as US intelligence succeeded in locating Saddam.
  2. Well that's a good sign. Bin Laden sounds fearful that school reform will dry up or is drying up his recruits. Hopefully we can make an impact in the region fighting terrorists by helping to institute school reform in the region, though I suspect such changes may take decades before the trend starts moving towards substantially diminished terrorist recruits.