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December 5, 2020
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Al-Qaida releases posthumous bin Laden audio

Al-Qaida has released an audio recording by Osama bin Laden made just days before his death. A U.S.-based monitoring service, SITE, said Wednesday that in the tape, bin Laden praises revolutions sweeping the Middle East and North Africa and says he thinks “the winds of change” will spread across the entire Muslim world. CNN, which translated the audio, could not confirm its authenticity. In the 12-minute message, bin Laden expresses joy at the victory of uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. He addresses the revolutions and offers guidance and advice. Bin Laden also accuses the region’s rulers of making themselves into idols and using the media to maintain power.

U.S. Special Forces killed bin Laden on May 2 in a raid on his compound in northern Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad. The 12-minute tape is thought to have been recorded sometime in the 10 weeks leading up to the Navy SEAL raid on bin Laden’s jack shack. “I think that the winds of change will blow over the entire Muslim world, with permission from Allah,” bin Laden says. He then cuts a careful path in throwing his support behind people who never once asked for it: “A delay may cause the opportunity to be lost, and carrying it out before the right time will increase the number of casualties.”

Boy, that’s prolific. Al Qaeda is so washed up now. The US intelligence officials were aware that the recording was in the pipeline. Bin Laden was known to record many of his thoughts and US intelligence experts are pouring through the recordings seized from his Abbottabad compound. But its unclear whether more such recordings are in the pipeline or whether this was the finals sermon from the the ‘merchant of death’.

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