New bin Laden 'address to Americans' is released

A new audio purported to be an "address to the American public" from Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden has been released by the militant network's media branch, a US-based terror monitoring group said.

Al-Qaeda's As-Sahab media released a video featuring a still image of bin Laden and an audio statement, said IntelCenter, noting that there were no subtitles or transcript yet available.

The release came two days after the United States marked the eighth anniversary of the Al-Qaeda-sponsored September 11, 2001 attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people.

"The video shows a still of bin Laden while the audio statement plays. There is no video footage of bin Laden or of anything else, aside from the graphics surrounding his still. There is no media footage or footage from other groups," IntelCenter said.

Undated photo of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden

The group described the release as "an address to the American public" and said bin Laden typically releases such a statement annually around September or October.

The last audiotape by bin Laden was released June 3. In that missive he scorned US President Barack Obama's overture to the Islamic world and warned of decades of conflict ahead.

That audiotape aired on Qatar's Al-Jazeera news channel less than an hour after Obama landed in Saudi Arabia, bin Laden's home country, at the start of a Mideast tour.

Obama "has followed the steps of his predecessor in antagonizing Muslims... and laying the foundation for long wars," bin Laden said in the June release, referring to deadly clashes in Pakistan between the US-backed government and Islamist militants.

"He gave his orders to (Pakistani President Asif Ali) Zardari and his army to prevent the people of Swat from applying Sharia (Islamic) law," he said.

"Obama and his administration have sowed new seeds of hatred against America," said the Al-Qaeda leader whose network carried out the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

"Let the American people prepare to harvest the crops of what the leaders of the White House plant in the next years and decades."

Bin Laden has a 50-million-dollar bounty on his head and has been in hiding for the past eight years.

Intelligence officials, the US military analysts and other experts have long said they believe the world's most wanted man is hiding in either Pakistan or Afghanistan near the remote mountainous border between the two countries.

In March, an audio attributed to bin Laden accused some Arab leaders of being "complicit" with Israel and the West against Muslims and urged holy war to liberate the Palestinian territories.

The same month, the terror chief urged the overthrow of the Somali president.

source AFP

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