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Sep 16th, 2010

Bin Laden’s Deputy Surfaces in New Recording

Al-Qaida Number Two calls for Pakistanis, Turkish Muslims to revolt

Image: Ayman al-Zawahri
Ayman al-Zawahri is believed to be hiding in mountains along the Afghan-Pakistani border. (Photo credit: IntelCenter / As-Sahab via AP)

September 15, 2010

DUBAI — Al-Qaida’s number two Ayman al-Zawahri released an audio recording on Wednesday accusing the Pakistani government of responding too slowly to severe flooding in the country and calling on Pakistanis to revolt.

Al-Zawahri, believed to be hiding in mountains along the Afghan-Pakistani border, spoke in a 44-minute recording which appeared to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S.

“The primary concern of the ruling class in the government and army of Pakistan is filling their domestic and foreign bank accounts with dollars, and as far as they are concerned, Pakistan and its people can go to hell,” he said.

More than 1,700 people have been killed and millions displaced in the flooding, which began six weeks ago and has caused an estimated $43 billion in damage. …

Entitled “A Victorious Ummah, A Broken Crusade: Nine Years After the Start of the Crusader Campaign,” the recording was posted on Islamist websites often used by al-Qaida.

Al-Zawahri called on Pakistanis and Turkish Muslims to rise up against their government because of their involvement in Afghanistan. …

Last year, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, believed to be hiding in the same area, released an audio tape marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, but no such message has appeared from him so far this year.


1/10/10 Update

Bin Laden issues climate change audiotape

Al-Qaida Leader Proclaims Climate Change Worse than War

October 1, 2010

DUBAI — Osama bin Laden criticized relief efforts in Pakistan and called for action against climate change in what appeared to be a new audio tape from the al-Qaida leader issued on Friday in an Islamist forum.

The message marks the second time in a year that Bin Laden has departed from his usual calls for armed attacks on the West to make a global theme such a natural disasters or economic crisis the centerpiece of a message [link added].

It follows a statement in mid-September by al-Qaida number two Ayman al-Zawahri also accusing the Pakistani government of reacting too slowly to the floods and a statement earlier this week by an al-Qaida spokesman, Adam Gadahn, on a similar theme.

The bin Laden message, about 11 minutes long, was broadcast with a video showing still images of Bin Laden and images of natural disasters, the Islamist website used by al-Qaida said. …

He describes the fate of the Pakistani people following catastrophic floods, saying: “Millions of children are out in the open air, lacking basic elements of living, including drinking water, resulting in their bodies shedding liquids and subsequently their death.”

Bin Laden also touches on global warming, the second time he is believed to have made climate change a prominent theme of one of his statements.

“The huge climate change is affecting our (Islamic) nation and is causing great catastrophes throughout the Islamic world,” he says in the tape. “It is not sufficient anymore to maintain the same relief efforts as previously, as it has become crucial to deliver tents, food and medicine.”

Vulnerable to climate change

Islamic charities, some with suspected ties to militant groups, were quicker than the Pakistani government to provide relief to flood victims. Pakistani and U.S. officials have repeatedly expressed concern that the Taliban and other militant groups could exploit the disarray to gain recruits.

Experts say south Asia is particularly vulnerable to climate change. A thaw of glaciers in the Himalayas could disrupt flows in rivers from the Ganges to the Yangtze, affecting hundreds of millions of people in Asia. Rising seas are also a big threat to densely populated low-lying areas of Bangladesh. …

Bin Laden urged a big transformation in how relief work is executed, calling the number of victims of climate change much bigger than the victims of war.

The message was bin Laden’s first since March 25, when he threatened to execute any Americans captured by al-Qaida if accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was executed. …


Related report on this site

Bin Laden Now Climate Expert (Jan. 30, 2010)


Officials: Bin Laden Involved in Europe Terror Plot

The Associated Press and NBC News via
October 1, 2010

WASHINGTON — Osama bin Laden emerged Friday as possibly a key figure in the European terror plot, and officials said he may be flexing his muscles in a move to show a besieged al-Qaida remains strong and able to launch major attacks on western targets.

U.S. counterterrorism officials said they believe that senior al-Qaida leaders, including bin Laden, were involved in the plan to strike several European cities in a coordinated assault.

The multi-pronged scope of the emerging plan — which aimed to launch coordinated shooting sprees or attacks in Britain, France and Germany — is an al-Qaida hallmark.

If bin Laden had a direct hand in the planning, it would be the most active role he has played in a terror plot since the 9/11 attacks, according to U.S. officials and analysts.

Counterterrorism officials said that they are now working under the assumption that bin Laden played a role in the plotting, but they would not detail what indications they’ve seen that led them in that direction.

Still, some also believe that bin Laden’s orders may have been delivered by one of his top commanders, since the al-Qaida leader is known to avoid close contact with anyone except his closet confidants.

While bin Laden’s name is still a powerful reminder of the World Trade Center’s twin towers and the Pentagon engulfed in flames, U.S. officials have for months asserted both in private and in hearings on Capitol Hill that his core al-Qaida group is weakened, struggling to raise money and attract recruits. …

The involvement of bin Laden and his devoted leaders, believed to be in hiding in Pakistan, underscores continuing U.S. concerns about that country’s role as a safe haven for al-Qaida and other Islamic extremists.

And it reflects al-Qaida’s persistent effort — through video and online messages — to inspire its followers to wage attacks against the West. The threat to Europe was highlighted when bin Laden issued a call to arms in March 2008 after a Danish newspaper printed controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. …

Bin Laden’s role in the European plot was first reported by NPR. …

A Pakistani intelligence official said Thursday that eight Germans and two British brothers are at the heart of the terror plot, which is still in its early stages. One of the Britons was killed in a recent CIA missile strike, he said. …

The U.S. has dramatically stepped up its missile attacks in North Waziristan, and is believed to have launched at least 21 this month. The covert campaign is largely carried out by CIA drones, and has led to the deaths of a number of top militant leaders. …

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official told NBC News that details of the European terrorist plot are probably known to senior al-Qaida leadership in northwest Pakistan. The U.S. and other Western intelligence officials say the information available suggests that the plot goes back to “al-Qaida Central”, the term U.S. officials use to describe bin Laden’s operations. Therefore, it’s possible that bin Laden is aware of at least some elements of the plot. …


Related reports on this site

Al-Qaida’s Next High-Value Target (Jan. 18, 2010)

The White House roof in all its glory

Osama bin Laden Personality Profile (Dec. 6, 2009)

Ayman al-Zawahiri Personality Profile (June 3, 2009)




Al-Qaida in Yemen largest terror threat? (MSNBC, Aug. 25, 2010) — U.S. officials are saying al-Qaida in Yemen now presents the biggest terror threat and are planning to increase predator drone strikes. NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski reports. (01:58)

Related reports on this site

Yemeni Clerics Threaten Jihad (Jan. 14, 2010)

Yemen-Somalia Terror Nexus (Jan. 12, 2010)

Uncertain Ally Against al-Qaida (Jan. 9, 2010)

Battle Lines Are Drawn in Yemen (Jan. 2, 2010)

Obama Opens Third War Front (Dec. 28, 2009)

Yemen Link in Airline Terror Plot (Dec. 26, 2009)

Christmas Terrorism Alert (Dec. 25, 2009)

Obama Fires Missiles into Yemen (Dec. 19, 2009)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — September 16, 2009

Racism vs. Obama?

One year ago today, I reported that former president Jimmy Carter told NBC’s Brian Williams in an interview that he believed race was at the core of much of the opposition to President Obama.


Weighing race at the White House (NBC Nightly News, Sept. 16, 2009) – The White House responded Wednesday to former President Jimmy Carter’s remarks that some of the vocal opposition to President Barack Obama is based on race, saying the administration does not believe critics oppose his policies “based on the color of his skin.” NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports. (04:47)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — September 16, 2008

After the Primary Election: Day 7

Two years ago today, on the seventh day after losing my 2008 primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, in line with my focus on national security, I reported on a spate of bombings in Iraq coinciding with an unannounced visit by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Image: Car bomb aftermath
A boy looks at a destroyed vehicle after a car bomb attack in central Baghdad’s Karrada district on Monday, Sept. 15, 2008. (Photo credit: Mohammed Jalil / EPA)

4 Responses to “Al-Qaida Releases 9/11 Audio Tape”
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