Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Osama bin Laden praises Arab spring in posthumously released tape

A tape recorded by Osama bin Laden before his death in an American special forces raid earlier this month has been posthumously released onto Islamic militant websites.

The message, recorded some time in the ten weeks before the 54-year-old al-Qaida leader was killed in Pakistan on May 2, praises the "Arab Spring" protest movements across the Middle East and predicts that revolutions will spread.

"I think that the winds of change will blow over the entire Muslim world, God willing," bin Laden said in the 12-minute message.

The message, though a video clip, contains only an audio track and an old photo of the terrorist leader, probably indicating that it was designed to be edited with images but that al-Qaida media technicians were either unable to do so or that a decision was taken to upload the tape quickly.

The senior al-Qaida leadership were caught out by the unrest in the Arab World this spring and had difficulty framing an effective response to an outpouring of enthusiasm for democracy and pluralism.

In deposing President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Zine el Abedine ben Ali in Tunisia, protestors achieved fundamental aims of al-Qaida itself without violence.



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