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Osama Bin Laden sends message from beyond the grave

Al-Qaeda has issued a video to mark the anniversary of 9/11 in which new leader Ayman al-Zawahri applauds the Arab Spring uprising. It also contains previously unreleased messages from Bin Laden.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri

AL-QAEDA HAS issued a video to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, in which Osama Bin Laden is featured warning Americans of the dangers of capitalism.

The message was posted on extremist websites yesterday and sees new al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri seeking to claim credit for this year’s Arab uprisings, saying the 2001 attacks on the United States paved the way for the “Arab volcano” sweeping the region a decade later.

The hour-long audio message is accompanied by a still image of al-Zawahri who said that “by striking the head of the world criminal” al-Qaeda forced America to press its allies in the Middle East to change their policies, which helped the “volcano” to to build up and explode.

According to the BBC the footage of Osama Bin Laden sees him warning Americans against “falling as slaves” to corporations. He also calls for a halt to the “hegemony of capitalism”, reports ABC.

Reuters reports that al-Zawahri said that this is the first time this footage of Bin Laden has been aired. According to the BBC the footage was found during the raid on his Pakistan compound earlier this year, and was released by Washington but without the audio track.

Arab Spring

Al-Zawahri and other al-Qaeda figures have issued a number of messages seeking to associate themselves with the Arab uprisings that toppled autocratic leaders in his native Egypt, as well as Tunisia and Libya, and which threaten others. In the messages, they urge Arabs to replace toppled regimes with Islamic rule.

Al-Zawahri was Osama bin Laden’s deputy and became head of al-Qaida in June after bin Laden’s death in the 2 May by U.S. Navy SEALs in Pakistan. Al-Zawahri had a long history of fighting against Hosni Mubarak’s rule in his home nation, leading militants who carried out deadly bombing and shooting attacks in the 1990s.

Islamic militants considered the regimes of Mubarak and other U.S.-allied autocrats in the Middle East to be corrupt, godless and too closely aligned with the West.

Their attacks were met with a crackdown by Mubarak’s security forces that largely crushed their operations in Egypt.

In this his new message, titled “The Dawn of Imminent Victory,” al-Zawahri also lashed out at the United States for what he called “blatant deception” in showing support for the Arab uprisings while keeping strong ties with leaders in the absolute monarchies of the Gulf, like Saudi Arabia.

- Additional reporting by AP

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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