Bin Laden: Palestinian issue behind al Qaeda’s war with West [Updated]

by Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

UPDATE: 16 May 2008: As expected, an audiotape message was released overnight by as-Sahab, the media wing of al Qaeda. The message, nine minutes, 40 seconds (09:40) in length, was an audio track purported to be that of Osama bin Laden, accompanied by a stock photo of the terrorist imposed over an image of the al Aqsa mosque of Jerusalem.

The primary focus of the message appeared to be the “Palestinian cause,” with the speaker calling the Palestinian situation the root cause fueling al Qaeda’s war against the West and the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.

Excerpted:

To Western nations … this speech is to understand the core reason of the war between our civilization and your civilizations. I mean the Palestinian cause.”

“The Palestinian cause is the major issue for my (Islamic) nation. It was an important element in fueling me from the beginning and the 19 others with a great motive to fight for those subjected to injustice and the oppressed.”

“Sixty years ago, the Israeli state didn’t exist. Instead, it was established on the land of Palestine raped by force. Israelis are occupying invaders whom we should fight.”

The release of the message appeared to be expedited to insure that it coincided with the visit by President Bush to Israel.

As I noted during my appearance on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory last night, suspicion is mounting over the authenticity of the audio. Consistent with messages allegedly released by and featuring Osama bin Laden since late 2001, the latest message offered no “proof of life.” We have seen or heard little proof that bin Laden is still alive, or issuing these audio messages himself.

15 May 2008: ABC News is currently reporting that a “radical jihadist website has announced that a new message from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is forthcoming.” Research performed by the Northeast Intelligence Network investigators indeed confirmed the announcement. We are monitoring various Internet “sites” for the appearance of the message, in which bin Laden will purportedly address Israel’s 60th birthday. Out of all of the audio and video messages allegedly released from bin Laden since 1998, this is one that should immediately garner the attention of our intelligence agencies and military. [Developing]