"Osama to Obama": Bin Laden addresses US President

Monday, January 25, 2010

File photo from Osama Bin Laden propaganda poster

Al-Qaeda's notional leader Osama Bin Laden has released a new audio tape in which he delivers a message he describes as from "Osama to Obama". Bin Laden tells the US President that Americans can expect further attacks.

In the tape, aired by al-Jazeera, Bin Laden describes Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up a US airliner on Christmas day, as "a hero" who was reaffirming the message of the September 11 attacks. He commented that "If it was possible to carry our messages to you by words we wouldn't have carried them to you by planes."

Osama's message to Obama, in Arabic.

He tells the US President, as well as his public, that American foreign policy will have to change before he will cease his campaign against the nation. "It is unfair you enjoy a safe life while our brothers in Gaza suffer greatly[,...] Our attacks will continue as long as you support Israel."

The recording lasted one minute. While he stopped short of claiming to be behind the Christmas plane bombing, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have already claimed responsibility. The BBC cites unnamed US intelligence officials as saying the tape could be designed to assert authority over all of al-Qaida's splinter groups. The West has yet to formally identify the tape as Bin Laden, but it is believed the tape represents Osama's first public announcement since September 25 when he sought troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.