Osama bin Laden on Monday said that the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States had been a response to traditional close ties to Israel, and indicated that Americans would face further atrocities if they did not abandon support for the Jewish state.
Bin Laden's warning came in the form of an audio recording titled "A statement to the American people" and posted on an Islamist website.
"The time has come for you to liberate yourselves from fear and the ideological terrorism of neo-conservatives and the Israeli lobby," said the elusive Al Qaeda leader. "The reason for our dispute with you is your support for your ally Israel, occupying our land in Palestine."
Bin Laden suggested that renewed Muslim patience with the US following the election of President Barack Obama was wearing thin, and that he and other Islamists had concluded it didn't matter who was president since certain pressure groups controlled the White House.
Experts were unable to conclusively verify the recording, but are reasonably certain it is bin Laden speaking and that the recording is relatively recent.
In related news, a group claiming to be linked to Al Qaeda took responsibility on Monday for last week's rocket attack from southern Lebanon on northern Israel.
In a statement posted to the group's website, the attackers informed the rest of Al Qaeda that they had launched the strike in line with bin Laden's vision for the region, and as a response to what they called Israel's blockade of Gaza and prevention of some Musliims from praying atop Jerusalem's Temple Mount.
The group is named after two of the Al Qaeda terrorists who took part in the attacks on the US eight years ago.
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