Bin Laden’s new video targets young Arabs

14 years ago Comments Off on Bin Laden’s new video targets young Arabs

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) – Osama bin Laden’s new videotape is clearly aimed at American voters days before an extraordinarily tight presidential election, but also courts another constituency: young Arabs who are frustrated and disenchanted but not committed to radical Islam.

Al-Qaida’s leader already has extremists on his side, who made it clear in their remarks posted Saturday on Islamic Web sites that they were elated to see him looking healthy and in control of the cause.

But analysts say he is trying to broaden his base and that his words were chosen for more secular young Muslims as well as Americans.

In the tape, parts of which were aired Friday by the Arabic TV network Al-Jazeera, bin Laden dropped the usual religious rhetoric and historical references in favor of plain language.

And he pointed to Israeli aggression as his inspiration for the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. U.S. policy in the Israeli-Palestinian issue drives frustration among many Arabs, from moderates to radicals.

Bin Laden’s language, tone and explanation are out of character with his past, more vehement remarks. Analysts warn he’s not a changed man, just changing with circumstances.

It was the first footage in more than a year of the fugitive al-Qaida leader, thought to be hiding in the mountains along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.