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Bin Laden Threatens U.S. in Rare Audio Statement

Posted: January 23, 2006

In his first audio statement in 13 months, Osama bin Laden warned of new attacks inside the United States, while also offering a conditional truce.

A CIA official reportedly confirmed the authenticity of the audio tape, which was broadcast on the Arabic satellite channel Al Jazeera on January 19.  The recorded statement is the Al Qaeda leader’s first since December 2004, in which he called for Iraqis to boycott the January 2005 elections.

According to excerpts of the tape from various news outlets, bin Laden says “it’s only a question of time” before attacks are carried out in the U.S.  “You will hear about them soon.”

Bin Laden also offers a “long-term truce with fair conditions that we adhere to.”  He did not specify the “conditions,” but indicated that it was linked to U.S. troops leaving Iraq.  “There is no shame in this solution, which prevents the wasting of billions of dollars that have gone to those with influence and merchants of war in America,” bin Laden says.  Bin Laden made a similar truce offer to Europe in his April 2004 statement.

Bin Laden’s statement comes less than a week after the U.S. launched an airstrike in a Pakistani village aimed at bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri; he was not at the site, Pakistani officials later said. 

Al Qaeda leaders, including Zawahiri and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, have issued several audio statements on behalf of Al Qaeda since bin Laden’s last recording was released. 

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