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Osama fosters Arab revolt in posthumous message

Last Updated: Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 17:49

Washington: Al Qaeda has released a message from slain leader Osama bin Laden praising the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia and urging Muslims to take advantage of a "rare historic opportunity" to rise up, US monitors said.

The 12-minute, 37-second audio message posted on jihadist forums on Wednesday by al Qaeda`s media arm As-Sahab addresses Muslims on the revolutions sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, SITE Intelligence said.

Speaking from beyond the grave in the posthumous message, bin Laden recommends setting up a council to offer revolutionary advice and decide the best timing to spread revolt across the Muslim world.

"A delay may cause the opportunity to be lost, and carrying it out before the right time will increase the number of casualties," bin Laden says in the audio message, according to SITE`s translation.

"I think that the winds of change will blow over the entire Muslim world, with permission from Allah."

The message was released as a video, but it contains only an audio track and a photo of the terrorist leader.

Though both bin Laden and the West have generally supported protest movements in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere, their goals are very different. The West hopes the protests will lead to democratic reforms. Bin Laden and his followers saw many Middle East governments as corrupt and hoped their collapse would lead to government based on their interpretation of Islamic law.

In the recording, bin Laden accused rulers of building themselves into idols and manipulating the media to stay in power.

"So, what are you waiting for?" he implored listeners. "Save yourselves and your children, because the opportunity is here."

A covert US Navy SEAL team killed bin Laden on May 02 at his Pakistan compound in Abbottabad before burying him at sea.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 17:49
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