It’s a dangerous world! So we are told!

Published: 9th September 2007

 Copyright © 2007 Gulf Daily News, PO Box 5300, Manama, Bahrain

WASHINGTON: US President George W Bush said Osama bin Laden’s mention of the Iraq war in his video message is a reminder of Al Qaeda’s long-term objectives in Iraq and of the “dangerous world in which we live”.

“Iraq is part of this war against extremists,” Bush said, responding to the terrorist leader’s message but never using his name.

“If Al Qaeda bothers to mention Iraq, it’s because they want to achieve their objectives in Iraq, which is to drive us out.”

Bin Laden’s video, part of which was broadcast by Al Jazeera television, emerged just days before the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

In a 30-minute speech addressed to Americans, Bin Laden mocked the democratic system of government in the US and lambastes the Bush administration for initiating the war in Iraq.

Bush, attending a summit of Pacific Rim leaders in Sydney, Australia, said: “The tape is a reminder about the dangerous world in which we live, and it’s a reminder that we must work together to protect our people again.

Bin Laden made no overt threats but lectured Americans on the Iraq war and criticised global capitalism, calling its leaders the real terrorists.

His emergence on Friday comes at a time when terrorism experts believe Bin Laden’s terror network is regrouping in the lawless Pakistan-Afghanistan border region – and it underlines the US failure to catch him.

It was not until yesterday that the video appeared on militant websites, most of which were down for much of the previous day.

A note accompanying the video once it finally appeared online explained it had been a conscious decision to release the message to television channels before posting it on websites, the traditional means the Al Qaeda has used to disseminate its message.

“As a requested strategy the video has been sent to TV channels before posting it on the net. And it is not true that some websites claimed that they have received it in another way,” it added.

American officials said the US government had obtained a copy long before the message was posted and intelligence agencies were studying the video to determine whether it was authentic and to look for clues about Bin Laden’s health.

Terrorism

Several current and former government officials said they believed an American – 28-year-old Adam Gadahn – may have written at least part of the speech.

Gadahn, who has been charged with treason and supporting terrorism for serving as an Al Qaeda propagandist, has appeared in several past Al Qaeda-produced videos, lecturing against capitalism and globalisation and making insider references to American culture.

“It has Adam Gadahn written all over it,” said one former senior intelligence official.

Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidates on the campaign trail in Iowa yesterday reacted to the new video by emphasising that the US should wage an unrelenting fight against Islamic radicals.

“It is extremely important that we should not show weakness,” said Fred Thompson, the actor and former Tennessee senator, wrapping up his initial campaign swing in Iowa just days after entering the presidential race last week.

“We must send a message to friends and foes alike that we are determined.”

During the three-day visit to Iowa, where precinct caucuses in January traditionally mark the start of the nominating season, Thompson called for a stepped-up effort in the global fight against terrorism.

“We have yet to come to terms fully with the threat that Islamic fundamentalism presents to this country,” Thompson said.

“The whole world is watching and waiting now, friends and foes alike, to see how we are going to react to the pressure they are going to put on us.”

Thompson sought to keep the focus on terrorism and Bin Laden after he referred on Friday to the hunt for the Al Qaeda leader as “symbolism”. The candidate worked hard to put that remark behind him by toughening his support for the battle against Islamic extremists.

“We are in a conflict with people who are trying to get their hands on the most destructive weapons known to man,” Thompson said.

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney warned of the threats posed by radical jihadists and Iran’s nuclear potential as he campaigned in the Lower Sioux River Valley in northwestern Iowa.

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One Response to “It’s a dangerous world! So we are told!”

  1. kevinboatang Says:

    Oh good, another Bush! I can’t see how he’ll ever get elected but what the hell.
    Feel free for a bit of UK comment:
    http://boatangdemetriou.wordpress.com

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