Monday, September 14, 2009

Terrorism: New Bin Laden tape - Obama is a weakened man and powerless to change course in Afghanistan

A new audio message, directed at the American people - purported to be from al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden - claims the President Barack Obama will find himself powerless to halt the American-led war in Afghanistan.

The latest audio recording, attributed to Bin Laden, again attempts to justify al-Qaeda's September 11, 2001, terror attack on the United States as being part of the group's quest for the liberation of Palestine.

The tape was provided by an American-based firm - IntelCenter, which monitors terrorist propaganda. It says the 11-minute video shows a still picture of bin Laden while audio of the address plays.

In the recording, the man identified as Bin Laden reiterates long-standing grievances including American support for Israel and "some other injustices."

He puts forward a reading list of recent books, including one by a former CIA agent, which the tape says will clarify the "message" of the terrorist attack eight years ago.

The recording notes that the Obama administration includes key figures from the previous Bush administration, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The voice, believed to be that of Bin Laden, thus concludes President Obama is a weakened man and powerless to change course in Afghanistan because of "pressure groups." And, if he tries, the tape says "his fate will be feared" to be like that of the assassinated President John Kennedy and his brother, Robert.

It is the first message believed to be from the reclusive terrorist leader since one in June, in which bin Laden accused President Obama of sowing new seeds of hatred against America among Muslims.

The United States now has about 60,000 troops in Afghanistan - the largest contingent in the 42-nation international force.

Following the September 2001 attack, the United States invaded to oust the Taliban from power in Kabul.

The Taliban had given safe haven to al-Qaeda, which had carried out the hijacking of four airliners to attack New York and Washington, in which more than 3,000 people died.

Bin Laden is believed to be in hiding in Pakistan, along the remote mountainous terrain border with Afghanistan. Pakistani leaders have recently said they believe the terrorist leader is dead. But top American officials say there is no credible evidence to confirm that.

The audio recording, posted on the on an Islamic website, includes a undated photograph of the al-Qaeda leader. There is also a scene of a banner with an American flag in the background and the New York City skyline with the destroyed World Trade Center twin towers.

No fresh images of Bin Laden appear. He was last seen in video that coincided with the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attack.

Published with the permission of Voice of America

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