Will geopolitical instability and terrorist conflict take a turn for the worse?
*New York Times, by Alan Cowell & Graham Bowley, January 14, 2009
“In his first public statement over the 19-day Gaza conflict, the leader of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, on Wednesday publicly exhorted Muslims to wage holy war against Israel and criticized Israel’s Arab allies in an audiotape posted on Islamist Web sites.
The Qaeda statement came a day after Israel conceded that despite its relentless bombardment of Gaza, it had yet to cripple the military wing of Hamas or destroy the group’s ability to launch rockets. The concession suggested that despite heavy air and ground assaults Israel’s main goals in the conflict remain unfulfilled after more than two weeks of war.
As is common with such missives, the tape’s authenticity could not immediately be verified, but it bore many hallmarks of Al Qaeda messages. The message was produced by As-Sahab, the Qaeda media arm, and the voice on the tape closely resembled other recordings by Mr. bin Laden, who was pictured on the Web sites next to an image of Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, one of Islam’s holiest sites.
Under the picture of the mosque, an inscription in white Arabic letters said the message is a ‘call to jihad to stop the enemies in Gaza.’
‘There is only one strong way to bring the return of Al Aqsa and Palestine, and that is jihad in the path of God,’ Mr. bin Laden said in the 22-minute audiotape, according to The Associated Press. ‘The duty is to urge people to jihad and to enlist the youth into jihad brigades.'”
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