Bin Laden Offers Truce in New Tape
Al-Jazeera aired an audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden on Thursday, saying al-Qaida is making preparations for attacks in the United States but offering a truce to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan.
The voice on the tape said heightened security measures in the United States are 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, and you will see them,” he said.
“Based on what I have said, it is better not to fight the Muslims on their land,” he said. “We do not mind offering you a truce that is fair and long-term. … So we can build Iraq and Afghanistan … there is no shame in this solution because it prevents wasting of billions of dollars … to merchants of war.”
The speaker did not give conditions for a truce in the excerpts aired by the Arab broadcaster.
Andrew Cochran notes,
This would be the first broadcast of any kind from bin Laden since December 2004. Other segments in English are on CNN website. Al Jazeera has posted Arabic transcript on its Arabic site – here is its English website report with more quotes. Al Jazeera also reports that the tape was made in December. Evan Kohlmann on MSNBC: OBL reasserting himself as leader, and new al-Zawahri audio tape might also be released very soon. These tapes are usually recorded a week or more before release.
Update:Ã‚ Steven Taylor notes, correctly, that, “Armed groups donÃ¢€™t typically offer truces when they are winning (despite such claims in the Ã¢€œofferÃ¢€).”Ã‚ Dan Drezner agrees, “I’m very wary of sounding triumphalist, but this sounds much more like bad spin control and concern about losing the war than an act of benevolence.“