Bin Laden Offers Threat, Truce

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Not sure what to make of this:

Al-Jazeera on Thursday broadcast portions of an audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden, saying al-Qaida is making preparations for attacks in the United States but offering a possible truce to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan.

The voice on the tape said heightened security in the United States is not the reason there have been no attacks there since the Sept. 11, 2001, suicide hijackings.

Instead, the reason is "because there are operations that need preparations," he said.

"The delay in similar operations happening in America has not been because of failure to break through your security measures. But the operations are happening in Baghdad and you will see them here at home the minute they are through (with preparations), with God’s permission," he said.

"We do not mind offering you a long-term truce with fair conditions that we adhere to," he said. "We are a nation that God has forbidden to lie and cheat. So both sides can enjoy security and stability under this truce so we can build Iraq and Afghanistan, which have been destroyed in this war. 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."

While I am loathe to agree with anything this man says, he does provide something to consider: namely that the dirth of attacks on U.S. soil in the past four years may have nothing to do with our post 9-11 increased security.  Remember, the WTC was bombed in 1993, it took eight years before anything happened on U.S. soil.  These guys are patient.

It’s hard to know whether to take these threats seriously, but there can be no mistake that he is making serious threats.  If nothing else, it should serve to remind us all who the real enemy of the United States is.

UPDATE:  Ignoring the "threat" part of OBL’s message, Glenn Reynolds takes bin Laden’s offer of a truce as a sign that "we are winning".  He also suggests that bin Laden’s offer may have something to do with last week’s Pakistani bombing in which (reportedly) some key al Qaeda people were killed.  I seriously doubt that.  I suspect that the bin Laden tape is weeks, or possibly months, old.

I’m more inclined to think that the true "audience" for the tape are members of the Arabic community who are "on the  fence" in the struggle of ideals.  By being strong — yet offering a "truce" — bin Laden might be trying to win the hearts and minds of those who are inclined to see the U.S. as just an international warmongering bully.

FLASHBACK:  Bush — “So I don’t know where he is. You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him. … And, again, I don’t know where he is. I — I’ll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.” [3/13/02]