RealNews

Bin Laden breaks silence

Osama bin Laden on Tuesday appeared to have broken weeks of silence by issuing a taped message calling on Muslims to mount suicide attacks against the US and its allies in response to the invasion of Iraq by American and British forces. The al-Qaeda leader has not issued a statement since February 11. The voice on Tuesday’s tape, whose authenticity has still to be verified, said: “Do not be afraid of their tanks and armoured personnel carriers. These are artificial things. If you started suicide attacks, you will see the fear of Americans all over the world.” Following the capture of many of its key operatives, the ability of al-Qaeda to respond with more than words to the invasion of Iraq has been in doubt. Equally, its operational capacity in the Middle East is less evident than that of other militant Islamist groups. Muslim activists, regional analysts and intelligence officials are uncertain whether al-Qaeda is intent upon specifically harnessing anti-American feeling in the area surrounding Iraq to its cause. It is also unclear whether it has the capacity to do so since the “war on terror” was launched to confront it. But whatever its capabilities, it is al-Qaeda’s violent defiance of American power that is seen as having taken root to the extent it is expected to have a big influence following the Iraq war. Full Story

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