Bin Laden Offers Truce in New Tape

Reports of Osama Bin Laden’s death have been widely exaggerated.

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:  Steven Taylor notes, correctly, that, “Armed groups don’t typically offer truces when they are winning (despite such claims in the “offerâ€).”  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.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Randall B says:

    Maybe bin-Laden would have better luck getting his message out if conducted a conference call with bloggers!

  2. G A PHILLIPS says:

    All i cant say is that if this was World War Two Al-Jazeera would lay in ruble.Why is un uncheaked voice of propaganda given free acsess on our airwaves,we must crush this murderous enemy in all of its forms, and all who give aid and comfort to it. This is not some game,this war.You pepole need to wake up while you still have the freedom to do so.

  3. ColfromColorado says:

    He offered us peace!! How can we possibly not take him up on this? Certainly all we have to do is turn the Lying Liberal Democrats loose (they love homos, aborts, porns, and terrorists…they are all SO sweet) and they will have America Cut & Run quickly! Sarcasm off.

  4. Randall B says:

    “Why is un uncheaked voice of propaganda given free acsess on our airwaves,we must crush this murderous enemy in all of its forms, and all who give aid and comfort to it.”

    Yes, of course! Since al-Jazeera is way over in Qatar, maybe we should start with Outside the Beltway since James is giving voice to the murderous enemy. Sorry, James, but your support for the terrorists cannot be tolerated by the likes of G A Philips. I am sure he will be asking you to take down this site soon enough!

  5. Anderson says:

    Hm. Inferences:

    (1) Osama’s trying to repair some of the damage to Qaeda caused by Zarqawi et al.’s attacks on fellow Muslims. Just how Qaeda would help “rebuild Iraq” is laughable, of course.

    (2) Possibly the bombing raid last week was serious enough that Osama felt the need to prove that he’s in charge & things are peachy (if the tape was recorded thereafter, which is unknown).

    I don’t disbelieve that Qaeda is planning another attack on U.S. soil; they spent years on 9/11, and given the disruption from invading Afghanistan, they could well be due for another attack any old day now.

  6. Bithead says:

    Is this the rough equivalent of the Black Knight saying “All right… we’ll call it a draw”?

  7. dobropet says:

    Kill him, kill him now! Screw pakistan and their nonwillingness to let us on their lands to stop this terrorist. They are harbouring terrorism, what happened to making no distinguishment between the terrorists and those that harbour them? pakistan must answer for their incompetence, and either help with the cause or suffer the consequences.

  8. floyd says:

    TRUCE; sure, sure, come to the oval office and let’s work out the details.we’ll send a private jet for you, with our best kamikaze pilot![lol]