Osama bin Laden has reportedly warned that new terrorist attacks on the US are being planned, but also offered a “long-term truce” to the American people. In an audio recording aired by an Arabic-language channel, the speaker said the al-Qaeda network was willing to respond to the fact that US public opinion favoured withdrawing troops from Iraq.
The tape was reportedly recorded in December 2005. Saudi-born bin Laden and his Egyptian right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahri, are believed to be hiding in a mountainous area on the Pakistan- Afghanistan border.
Pakistani intelligence sources say four top al-Qaeda militants are believed to have been killed in last week’s American airstrike aimed at al-Zawahiri. Bin Laden’s last audio tape was in December 2004. The interval between then and now represents his longest public silence since the 11th September, 2001 attacks. In the new recording he says part of the reason why there have been no subsequent attacks in the US is that al-Qaeda is engaged in Iraq, where, he says, “Everything is going to our advantage.”