WASHINGTON, Sep 14 – Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden told Americans in a new message Sunday that their support for Israel had prompted him to launch the September 11, 2001 attacks, a US-based terror monitoring group said.
Al-Qaeda’s As-Sahab media released a video titled "Message to the American People," which features a still image of bin Laden and an audio statement, said IntelCenter.
The release came two days after the United States marked the eighth anniversary of the Al-Qaeda-sponsored attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
According to the center, Bin Laden said that among "some other injustices," US support to Israel motivated Al-Qaeda to launch the 9/11 attacks.
He also stated that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were driven by the pro-Israeli lobby in the White House and corporate interests, not Islamic militants.
"If you think about your situation well, you will know that the White House is occupied by pressure groups," he said, according to IntelCenter. "Rather than fighting to liberate Iraq – as Bush claimed – it (the White House) should have been liberated."
He was referring to former US president George W. Bush, who launched an invasion of Iraq in 2003.
According to bin Laden, current US President Barack Obama is powerless to change the course of the wars.
Obama’s retention of US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other individuals from the Bush administration is confirmation of the president’s weakness, the Al-Qaeda chief argued.
Bin Laden urges Americans to pressure White House leaders to cease the wars and US support to Israel, rather than succumb to what he called "the ideological terrorism" exercised by neo-conservatives.
"The bitter truth is that the neo-conservatives continue to cast their heavy shadows upon you," he insisted.
If the wars are not ended, "all we will do is to continue the war of attrition against you on all possible axes, like we exhausted the Soviet Union for ten years until it collapsed with grace from Allah the Almighty and became a memory of the past," bin Laden vowed.
IntelCenter said bin Laden typically releases such a statement annually around September or October.
The last audiotape by bin Laden was released June 3. In that missive he scorned Obama’s overture to the Islamic world and warned of decades of conflict ahead.
That audiotape aired on Qatar’s Al-Jazeera news channel less than an hour after Obama landed in Saudi Arabia, bin Laden’s home country, at the start of a Mideast tour.
Obama "has followed the steps of his predecessor in antagonizing Muslims… and laying the foundation for long wars," bin Laden said in the June release, referring to deadly clashes in Pakistan between the US-backed government and Islamist militants.
"Obama and his administration have sowed new seeds of hatred against America," said at the time the Al-Qaeda leader whose network carried out the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
"Let the American people prepare to harvest the crops of what the leaders of the White House plant in the next years and decades."
Bin Laden has a 50-million-dollar bounty on his head and has been in hiding for the past eight years.
Intelligence officials, US military analysts and other experts have long said they believe the world’s most wanted man is hiding in either Pakistan or Afghanistan near the remote mountainous border between the two countries.
In March, an audio attributed to bin Laden accused some Arab leaders of being "complicit" with Israel and the West against Muslims and urged holy war to liberate the Palestinian territories.
The same month, the terror chief urged the overthrow of the Somali president.