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Page last updated at 03:47 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 04:47 UK

'Bin Laden' tape harangues Obama

Osama Bin Laden (centre) with Ayman al Zawahiri (left) in an image broadcast by al-Jazeera in October 2001
Bin Laden has avoided capture since the 2001 attacks on the US

An audio message purportedly by al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has been released on an Islamist website.

The message, entitled "a statement to the American people", was about 10 minutes long and was accompanied by a still image of Bin Laden but no video.

In the message, a voice tells the US president that he is "powerless" to stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The message comes just two days after the US marked the eighth anniversary of the 11 September attacks on America.

'No real change'

In the recording, the voice discusses what motivated the al-Qaeda network to launch the 11 September attacks. He explained that they were, in part, fuelled by US support for Israel.

"The time has come for you to liberate yourselves from fear and the ideological terrorism of neo-conservatives and the Israeli lobby," the voice in the tape says.

"The reason for our dispute with you is your support for your ally Israel, occupying our land in Palestine."

The voice believed to be Bin Laden also speaks of how the conflict between al-Qaeda and the US may end.

"If you stop the war, then fine. Otherwise we will have no choice but to continue our war of attrition on every front [...] If you choose safety and stopping wars, as opinion polls show you do, then we are ready to respond to this," it says.

In the message, the al-Qaeda leader accuses the new president of failing to fundamentally change foreign policy because of his decision to retain key figures from the previous administration, including Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

"If you think about your situation well, you will know that the White House is occupied by pressure groups," he says.

Bin Laden is thought to be hiding in mountainous terrain on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

In his last known message, in June, Bin Laden had said that US President Barack Obama had planted the seeds of "revenge and hatred" towards the US in the Muslim world.



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