AL-QAIDA leader Osama bin Laden described President Barack Obama as “powerless” to stop the war in Afghanistan, and Americans’ inability to grasp why the September 11 attacks occurred has “cost you a lot without any result whatsoever”.
The remarks by the terrorist leader were released only days after the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks that he ordered.
Bin Laden typically addresses the American people in a message timed around the anniversary.
Bin Laden, believed to be hiding in the mountainous region along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, said White House officials are merely following the strategy of former president George W Bush and former vice president Dick Cheney to “promote the previous policies of fear to market the interest of big companies.”
“Rather than fighting to liberate Iraq – as Bush claimed – it [the White House] should have been liberated,” he said.
When Obama became president and retained many of the Bush administration’s military leaders, such as defence secretary Robert Gates, “reasonable people knew that Obama is a powerless man who will not be able to end the war as he promised,” bin Laden said.
“If you end the war, so to it,” bin Laden said. “But if it is otherwise, all we will do is continue the war of attrition against you on all possible axes.”
The al-Qaida leader sought to drive home key grievances often voiced in the Arab and Muslim world, where Washington’s policies are seen as blatantly favouring Israel at the expense of the rights of Palestinians and other Arabs.
“We have demonstrated and stated many times, for more than two and a half decades, that the cause of our disagreement with you is your support to your Israeli allies who occupy our land of Palestine,” bin Laden said.
“The delay in your knowing those causes has cost you a lot without any result whatsoever,” he said in the tape released by al-Qaida’s media wing, as-Sahab.
“This position of yours, combined with some other injustices, pushed us to undertake the events of [September 11],” bin Laden said. He said that if Americans realised the extent of the “suffering from the injustice of the Jews ... you will realise that both our nations are victims of the policies of the White House”.
Along with the direct threats, bin Laden also reached out to Americans in a gesture of conciliation – or at least readiness to entertain one if the US moves to re-evaluate its support for Israel.
“Ask yourselves to determine your position: is your security, your blood, your children, your money, your jobs, your homes, your economy, and your reputation dearer to you than the security of the Israelis, their children and their economy?” he said.
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