Osama using media to further Iraqi insurgency: White House

The White House countered a threatening message from Osama bin Laden by accusing the al-Qaeda leader of using the media to justify violence that is stalling the new Iraqi government``s work to mend sectarian strife.

Washington, July 02: The White House countered a
threatening message from Osama bin Laden by accusing the
al-Qaeda leader of using the media to justify violence that is
stalling the new Iraqi government`s work to mend sectarian
strife.

In an Internet posting yesterday, bin Laden endorsed a
new leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq and warned Shiites there
against collaborating with the United States in battling Sunni
insurgents.

"These terrorists offer nothing in their ideology and
messages beyond future fighting, conflict and misery,`` the
Bush administration said in a statement read by a White House
official.

"If authentic, the tape demonstrates yet again that bin
Laden and al-Qaeda continue to use the media to justify their
dark vision and war against humanity," the statement said.

It was bin Laden`s fifth audio message so far this year
and his second in two days.

The White House offhandedly dismissed bin Laden`s message
on Friday. "It`s another Bin Laden audio tape," White House
press secretary Tony Snow told reporters.

Yesterday`s 19-minute recording from Bin Laden came as
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, started a
regional tour seeking support from Sunni Arab countries for
his national reconciliation plan.

Bin Laden gave his support to al-Muhajer, the replacement
for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in a US airstrike
June 7. In an attempt to boost the morale of al-Qaeda members
in Iraq, Bin Laden said that the Islamic community was
depending on them.

Bureau Report

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