Audio message shows Bin Laden supporting Arab revolts

A US official has unveiled an audio message by the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in which he voiced support for the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. The recording was found after a US army raid killed the world's most wanted man on 2 May in Pakistan.

CNN quoted the official as saying that the recording was made in late April, days before his death, but had been not broadcast.

In the message, bin Laden referred to Egypt and Tunisia, but failed to mention the uprisings in Libya, Yemen and Syria, which several US officials said was puzzling.

An official told CNN it is "puzzling" that bin Laden would "suddenly join the bandwagon on the uprisings," months after they started and not mention all of the Arab nations in turmoil. The official said it was a "head scratcher" why bin Laden would not indicate his support for the uprising against Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi, who bin Laden detested.

"Why not try to inspire AQIM?" wondered the official, referring to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a regional affiliate.

US officials said that the pro-change revolutions in the Arab region formed a setback for Al-Qaeda as they provided a peaceful alternative to the group's violent methods.

They also said that among the seized materials were written communications from bin Laden expressing his desire to see US President Barack Obama assassinated.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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