WASHINGTON – Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden described President Barack Obama as "powerless" to stop the war in Afghanistan, and Americans' inability to grasp why the Sept. 11 attacks occurred has "cost you a lot without any result whatsoever."
The remarks by the terrorist leader were released two days after the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that he ordered. Bin Laden typically addresses the American people in a message timed around the Sept. 11 anniversary.
Bin Laden, who is believed to be hiding in the mountainous region along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, said current White House officials are merely following the strategy of former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney to "promote the previous policies of fear to market the interest of big companies."
"Rather than fighting to liberate Iraq — as Bush claimed — it (the White House) should have been liberated," he said.
When Barack Obama became president and retained many of the Bush administration's military leaders, such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates, "reasonable people knew that Obama is a powerless man who will not be able to end the war as he promised," bin Laden said.
"If you end the war, so to it," bin Laden said. "But if it is otherwise, all we will do is continue the war of attrition against you on all possible axes."
SITE Intelligence Group, a terrorist-monitoring firm, provided a translation of the tape, which was also translated by The Associated Press.
The al-Qaida leader sought to drive home key grievances often voiced in the Arab and Muslim world, where Washington's policies are seen as blatantly favoring Israel at the expense of the rights of Palestinians and other Arabs.
"We have demonstrated and stated many times, for more than two-and-a-half-decades, that the cause of our disagreement with you is your support to your Israeli allies who occupy our land of Palestine," bin Laden said.
"The delay in your knowing those causes has cost you a lot without any result whatsoever," he said in the tape released by Al Qaeda's media wing, as-Sahab.
"This position of yours, combined with some other injustices, pushed us to undertake the events of (Sept. 11)," bin Laden said. He said that if Americans realized the extent of the "suffering from the injustice of the Jews ...you will realize that both our nations are victims of the policies of the White House," which he described as "a hostage" to interest groups and companies.
IntelCenter, another company that monitors terrorist propaganda, said the 11-minute video, which shows a still picture of bin Laden while audio of the address plays, is the 49th release as-Sahab, in 2009. As-Sahab is averaging one release every five days so far in 2009, IntelCenter said.
The terror leader, who is believed to be hiding in the remote mountainous region along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, argued against the claims that the wars spearheaded by the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan are necessary for U.S. security.
Along with the direct threats, bin Laden also follows an approach he has embraced repeatedly, reaching out to Americans in a gesture of conciliation — or at least readiness to entertain one if the U.S. moves to re-evaluate its support for Israel.
"Ask yourselves to determine your position: is your security, your blood, your children, your money, your jobs, your homes, your economy, and your reputation dearer to you than the security of the Israelis, their children and their economy?" he said.
"If you choose your security and cessation of war, and this is what the polls have shown, this requires you to work to punish those on your side who play with our security. We are ready to respond to this choice on aforementioned sound and just bases."