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Bin Laden condemns Pakistan aid - and climate change

In a new tape, the exiled Al Qaeda leader blast the west’s struggle to offer flooding aid, and for causing global warming.

EXILED AL QAEDA leader Osama Bin Laden has released a new audio tape in which he criticises the Western World for its sluggishness to offer humanitarian aid to Pakistan after the recent flooding in the country – and also takes a pop at the climate chance that he believes contributed to the rain that killed over 1,500 people.

The 11-minute video – in which Bin Laden speaks over still images of himself and of natural disasters – was posted on an Islamist website commonly used by Al Qaeda to communicate with the Arab world.

Millions of children are out in the open air, lacking basic elements of living, including drinking water, resulting in their bodies shedding liquids and subsequently their death.

Sending tents and medicine is necessary, but the catastrophe is bigger and way more than what it being offered in terms of quantity, quality and timing. We need a big transitional change in the way we act in the relief effort.

“What governments spend on relief work is secondary to what they spend on armies,” the recording reads, before continuing:

The number of victims caused by climate change is very big – bigger than the victims of wars. The huge climate change is affecting our nation and is causing great catastrophes throughout the Islamic world.

[Addressing climate change] calls for generous souls and brave men to take serious and prompt action to provide relief for their Muslim brothers in Pakistan.

While its authenticity has yet to be verified, the video appears to be genuine – and recently recorded, as he elsewhere congratulates Muslims on the end of Ramadan.

If genuine, the tape would be the second time that Bin Laden has addressed climate change; a tape issued in January saw the leader blame George W Bush for his failure to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Ireland has pledged €1.19m to the Pakistani flood relief efforts, but UNICEF has described the slow nature of the world’s response as “extraordinary”.

See pictures of the Pakistani flood damage >

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Gavan Reilly

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