Skip to comments.Bin Laden Urges Americans to Convert
Posted on 09/07/2007 1:04:10 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Osama bin Laden appeared for the first time in three years in a new videotape Friday, telling Americans they should convert to Islam if they want the war in Iraq to end, according to a transcript obtained by ABC News. The videotape appeared to have been recently made, since bin Laden refers to the Democratic victory in COngress and to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was elected in May.
"I invite you to embrace Islam," bin Laden said, according to a transcript posted by ABC News on its Web site.
"It will also achieve your desire to stop the war as a consequence, because as soon as the warmongering owners of the major corporations realize that you have lost confidence in your democratic system and have begun to look for an alternative, and this alternative is Islam, they will run after you to please you and achieve what you want to steer you away from Islam," he said.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
CAIRO, Egypt (AP)The first new images of Osama bin Laden in nearly three years will be released ahead of the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, al-Qaida's media arm announced, a move that would end the terror mastermind's longest period without a message.
The Department of Homeland Security said Thursday it had no credible information warning of an imminent threat to the United States, and analysts noted that al-Qaida tends to mark the Sept. 11 anniversary with a slew of messages.
Still, bin Laden's appearance would be significant. The al-Qaida leader has not appeared in new video footage since October 2004, and he has not put out a new audiotape in more than a year.
The announcement and photo appeared in a banner advertisement on an Islamic militant Web site where al-Qaida's media arm, Al-Sahab, frequently posts messages.
"Soon, God willing, a videotape from the lion sheik Osama bin Laden, God preserve him," the advertisement read, signed by Al-Sahab. Such announcements are usually put out one to three days before the video is posted on the Web.
One difference in his appearance was immediately obvious. The announcement had a still photo from the coming video, showing bin Laden addressing the camera, his beard fully black. In his past videos, bin Laden's beard was almost entirely gray with dark streaks.
Bin Laden's beard appears to have been dyed, a popular practice among Arab leaders, said Rita Katz, director of the SITE Institute, a Washington-based group that monitors terror messages.
"I think it works for their (al-Qaida's) benefit that he looks young, he looks healthy," Katz said.
IntelCenter, which monitors Islamic Web sites and analyzes terror threats, said the video was expected within the next 72 hours, before the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 suicide hijacker attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The anniversary has always been a major media event for al-Qaidaa chance for it to drum up support among extremists, tout itself as the leading militant group and show off its continued survival.
"They've always gone out of their way to commemorate it," said Ben Venzke, chief executive officer of IntelCenter, which is based in Alexandria, Va. "Historically the anniversary of 9-11 has never been drawn to attacks. It's drawn to video releases."
But the fact that bin Laden is delivering the message is significant, he said. Whether the message will indicate a potential attack will depend on what bin Laden says.
The White House said that any new video message from bin Laden would only underscore the threat the United States and other nations face from extremists.
"Six years after 9/11, the arrests in Germany and Denmark this week and the battles we fight against al-Qaida in Iraq, Afghanistan, southeast Asia and around the world remind us of the continuing threat we face from extremists and why we must continue to take the fight to them wherever they are," said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House.
Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said he could not confirm the existence of a tape, "and there is no credible information at this time warning of an imminent threat to the homeland." But he said increased activity overseas and recent arrests of militants in Germany reinforce the department's assessment that the country is currently in a period of increased risk.
If bin Laden does appear in new footage, it would be the first images of him since an Oct. 29, 2004 videotape, just before the U.S. presidential elections. In that appearance three years ago, he said America could avoid another 9-11 style attack if it stopped threatening Muslims.
The new video would also end the longest period bin Laden has gone without releasing a message. His last audiotape was on July 1, 2006, in which he welcomed new leader of al-Qaida in Iraq succeeding the slain Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Bin Laden went silent for a similar long stretch beforefrom Dec. 28, 2004 to Jan. 19, 2006. That absence sparked widespread speculation he was ill, wounded or possibly dead.
There has been little such speculation since then. U.S. officials have repeatedly said over the past year they believe the al-Qaida leader is alive. He is thought to be hiding in the tribal regions of western Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan.
During bin Laden's silence, his deputy Egyptian-born Ayman al-Zawahri has been frequently issuing videos and audiotapes.
Al-Zawahri appeared in a 2006 video marking the 9-11 anniversary. An anniversary video in 2003 showed footage of bin Laden and al-Zawahri walking through mountain paths, with voice-over messages from both leaders.
Over my dead body you camel **&^^& %&%&&^&^^&!
I vote we convert OSAMA to a permanently horizontal position instead.
Gee...I guess all the Muslims in Iraq that Al Queda kills each day should have converted too....
Oh wait ....nevermind...
What is the word you are missing?
Ron Paul will run out and convert right away so as not to “offend” them.
HHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHA!! My response as well! Altho, if you think about it, that is EXACTLY what they want to do. Convert or die.
Also, I was thinking of a being a bit more prosaic . . .how about this: Over my dead body you lice ridden goat turd!
I'd like to see it killed.
Sorry Skippy! My wife would kick my ass if I told her she had to wear a burka! Ain’t happenin’ Bubba! Guess the troops will have to stay in Iraq.
Headin' out to the local mosque right now!
A call to convert is obligated by Islam before an attack.
This is very grim news.
Let's have the antiwar Lefties and homosexuals convert first, and after they see how they're treated let's ask them if they still feel the same about "Bush's illegal war".
There's nothing quite like a good dose of reality, up close and personal.
This is not just bin laden. This is not just one cretin sitting there passing edicts propagating death on a massive scale. Read their book. It’s fairly self explanatory.
And I invite you to ESAD, you perverted muzzie goathumper.............
So George Bush was castigated for using the term “crusade” during the opening days of the Afghanistan conflict [which probably WAS NOT politically a great idea].
Now, Bin Laden makes it clear that in the eyes of the terrorists this is truly a religious conflict.
The only thing I’ll convert, you son of a pig-borne prostitute, is the shape of your head with the help of a high-powered Smith & Wesson.
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