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September 20, 2007
New Message from Al-Qaeda Targets Pakistan
A tape purporting to be from Osama Bin Laden is being released today and in it, the terrorist calls for attacks on the regime of President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan:
Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden called on Pakistanis to rebel against President Pervez Musharraf in a new recording released on Thursday, saying his military's siege of a militant mosque stronghold makes him an infidel. The siege of the Red Mosque featured mostly foriegn jihadists thought to have been recruited by al-Qaeda to sow discord in Pakistan. After crushing them, Musharraf then declared war on the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the tribal areas.
The storming of the Red Mosque in Islamabad in July "demonstrated Musharraf's insistence on continuing his loyalty, submissiveness and aid to America against the Muslims ... and makes armed rebellion against him and removing him obligatory," bin Laden said in the message.
"So when the capability is there, it is obligatory to rebel against the apostate ruler, as is the case now," he said, according to a transcript released by Laura Mansfield, a U.S. terrorism expert who monitors militant message traffic.
Bin Laden's voice was heard over a video showing previously released footage of the terror leader. It was posted Thursday on Islamic militant Web sites.
That conflict seems to be going as expected; the tribal peoples protect the terrorists and Musharraf is seeking to make deals with them. How that shakes out will probably determine how stable the new coalition government Musharraf will form early next year with former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who is expected to emerge as a leader of the secular opposition in elections.
Al-Qaeda can cause a lot of trouble in Pakistan. But as in other places where al-Qaeda has been active, the local population soon turns against them for their brutal tactics. Let's hope that continues.