Sunday, January 24, 2010
He's back -- Osama bin Laden vows more attacks on United States
Some guys never give up. We're referring, of course, to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, who apparently released a new audiotape claiming responsibility for a failed attack on an airliner on Christmas Day and threatened new attacks against the United States. The authenticity of the new message was not confirmed by the White House, which characterized it as "hollow justification" for the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on New York and Washington, according to the Reuters international news service. In the tape, the voice presumed to be bin Laden's said the attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 near Detroit was a continuation of its fight against the United States for backing Israel's survival in the Middle East. "Our attacks against you will continue as long as U.S. support for Israel continues," bin Laden said on the tape. "It is not fair that Americans should live in peace as long as our brothers in Gaza live in the worst conditions." Bin Laden also praised the foiled attack on the plane by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was subdued by fellow passengers before he could ignite chemicals he had been hiding in his underwear. U.S. President Barack Obama, to whom the tape was addressed, said shortly after the failed attack that a wing of the terrorist group based in Yemen was responsible. So, it looks like al-Qaida is still in business -- but so, obviously, is the United States. The spectacularly cataclysmic al-Qaida attack that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York did not, as bin Laden apparently thought, cause the collapse of the United States or the disengagement of its allies. In fact, the opposite has happened, despite the preposterously bad administration of George W. Bush in Washington. And, now, the failed attack on Northwest 253 has prompted an increase in military aid to Yemen and a series of attacks on suspected al-Qaida positions that reportedly killed several of the group's top leaders but not bin Laden himself, even though Yemen became a haven for al-Qaida fighters after the 2001 terrorist attacks, Reuters said. In perhaps the most encouraging development, Western powers have planned two international conferences this week in London to discuss their approaches to Yemen and Afghanistan. The embattled government in Sanaa also is reportedly trying to resist a Shiite rebellion in the country's north and separatists in the south, Reuters said.