Bin Laden: Attacks on U.S. to Go on as Long as It Supports Israel

Al Jazeera airs purported tape of Al-Qaida leader claiming responsibility for botched Detroit plane attack.

Reuters
Reuters
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Reuters
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A purported audio tape of Osama bin Laden aired on Al Jazeera television claimed responsibility for a Dec. 25 attempted bombing of a U.S.-bound plane, and vowed to continue attacks on the United States, as long as it supports Israel.

A White House top adviser David Axelrod said on CNN's "State of the Union" program that he could not confirm the authenticity of the audiotape.

"I can't confirm that (Al-Qaida's responsibility for the attack) nor can we confirm the authenticity of the tape, but assuming that it is him, his message contains the same hollow justifications for the mass slaughter of innocents that we've heard before," said Axelrod.

On Sunday's audiotape, the Al-Qaida vowed to continue attacks so long as Palestinians cannot live in peace.

"Our attacks against you will continue as long as U.S. support for Israel continues," bin Laden said. "It is not fair that Americans should live in peace as long as our brothers in Gaza live in the worst conditions."

The Yemen-based regional wing of Al-Qaida has said it was behind the Dec. 25 attempt to blow up the plane as it approached Detroit. The botched attack and subsequent threats in Yemen prompted Sanaa to declare an open war on the global militant group within its territory.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman, Andy David, dismissed the latest Al-Qaida message and its attempt to link Israel with attacks on the U.S.

"This is nothing new, he has said this before. Terrorists always look for absurd excuses for their despicable deeds," he said.

"The message sent to you with the attempt by the hero Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is a confirmation of our previous message conveyed by the heroes of Sept. 11," bin Laden said on the tape, aired on Sunday.

"If it was possible to carry our messages to you by words we wouldn't have carried them to you by planes," bin Laden added in a message he said was directed "from Osama to [U.S. President Barack] Obama."

Yemen has launched a series of air strikes targeting Al-Qaida leaders since then and has declared that some top leaders including Qasim al-Raymi and Ayed al-Shabwani have been killed. Al Qaeda denies this.

Defense and counterterrorism officials say Washington has been quietly supplying military equipment, intelligence and training to Yemen to destroy suspected Al-Qaida hide-outs.

The last public message from bin Laden appears to have been on Sept. 26, 2009, when he demanded that European countries pull their troops out of Afghanistan. The order came in an audiotape that also warned of retaliation against nations that are allied with the United States in fighting the war.

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