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Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Another week another Death Threat

The list of al-Qaeda video and audio taped threats released since 9-11 is impressive. A death by press release strategy. Demented, pale, smelly men living in caves threatening the U.S and its allies with distruction. This crap is really getting old. What rock are they hiding under this week? The AP released a list of Al-Qaeda audio and video tapes but it was incomplete. Here is a better list with some linkage. List of al-Qaeda audio and video tapes to date since 9-11:

• Oct. 7, 2001: (Shot in late Sept./early Oct.) A threatening tape released at the start of the U.S. attacks on Afghanistan and shown on al-Jazeera. It is believed to have been shot in late September or early October. Also on tape are bin Laden spokesman Abu Ghaith, chief lieutenant Ayman al Zawahiri, and Mohammed Atef, bin Laden's military commander.

• Nov. 3, 2001: (Shot late Oct./early Nov.) Bin Laden, dressed in camouflage and armed with an AK-47, says in a tape aired by al-Jazeera that the war in Afghanistan is in a religious war. "The people of Afghanistan had nothing to do with this matter. The campaign, however, continues to unjustly annihilate the villagers and civilians, children, women and innocent people."

Dec. 13, 2001: U.S. Defense Department releases a videotape of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan on Nov. 9, 2001, saying the destruction of the Sept. 11 attacks exceeded even his "optimistic" calculations. [transcript]

Dec. 27, 2001: (Shot late Nov. 2001) The "Gaunt Tape," so named because bin Laden is haggard and doesn't move his left arm, is believed to have been recorded around Nov. 19, 2001. In the tape, bin Laden refers to the U.S. bombing of a mosque in Khost "several days" earlier. The U.S. bombed a mosque in Khost on Nov. 16. Bin Laden does not move his left arm and his appearance is both gaunt and pale. Al-Jazeera airs the tape.

• April 17-18, 2002: (Shot in Oct. 2001) The "Riverside tape," believed shot in October 2001, is shown on Arabic language broadcasters MBC and al-Jazeera in slightly different versions. In this tape, bin Laden praises the impact the Sept. 11 attacks had on the U.S. economy.

October 6, 2002: Al-Jazeera broadcasts a brief audiotape in which a voice attributed to bin Laden says the "youths of God" are planning more attacks against the United States. U.S. experts say the tape can't be authenticated because of its poor quality.

• Nov. 12, 2002: (Contemporaneous) Bin Laden calls Bush the "pharaoh of this age" and lists recent attacks in a statement carried on al-Jazeera. Specifically, he notes: "The incidents that have taken place since the raids on New York and Washington up until now -- like the killing of Germans in Tunisia and the French in Karachi, the bombing of the giant French tanker in Yemen, the killing of marines in Failaka [in Kuwait] and the British and Australians in the Bali explosions, the recent operation in Moscow and some sporadic operations here and there -- are only reactions and reciprocal actions." It is the first bin Laden message that can be dated in nearly a year.

• Feb. 11, 2003: (Contemporaneous) A voice purported to be bin Laden calls on Iraqis to carry out suicide attacks against Americans and defend themselves against a U.S. attack in a tape broadcast on Al-Jazeera. U.S. counterterrorism officials say the audio message was probably authentic.

• Feb. 13, 2003: An audiotape purported to be of bin Laden reads a poetic last will and testament in a recording first obtained by the British-based Islamic Al-Ansaar news agency. Bin Laden says he wants to die a martyr in a new attack against the United States.

• April 7, 2003: In an audiotape obtained by The Associated Press in Pakistan, bin Laden exhorts Muslims to rise up against Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other governments it claims are "agents of America" and calls for suicide attacks against U.S. and British interests. The CIA determines the 27-minute tape is likely authentic.

Sept. 10, 2003: In the first video image of bin Laden in nearly two years, he is shown walking through rocky terrain with top deputy Ayman al-Zawahri (most likely shot in 2001). Two taped messages accompanied the video: In one, a voice purporting to be bin Laden's praises the "great damage to the enemy" on Sept. 11 and mentions five hijackers by name. In the other tape, a voice said to be that of al-Zawahri threatens more attacks on Americans. "Rely on God and devour the Americans, like lions devour their prey. Bury them in the Iraqi graveyard," al-Zawahri said.[aljazeera.net]

Sept. 28, 2003: Aljazeera aired an audiotape of Ayman al-Zawahiri calling on Pakistanis to overthrow President Pervez Musharraf.

Oct. 18, 2003: Aljazeera aired a videotape of Usama bin Ladin calling on Iraqis to stand firm against 'US crusaders'. He also issued a stark warning that his followers would carry out further actions both inside and outside the United States. [transcript: msg to Iraqis] [transcript: msg to U.S.]

Oct. 18, 2003: Al-Qaida releases a new videotape message related to the May 2003 attack in Riyadh. On the 45-minute tape, made available on several websites friendly to the group, is an audio recording of the attack on U.S. and British housing in the Saudi capital. Also on the tape: What appears to be new images of Bin Laden...and 4 terrorists killed in the bombing...two speaking English for the first time on tape. One of them, Hazem Al-Kashmiri, claims to be the son of a former major general in Saudi intelligence. He says, "We promise that we will not let you live safely and will not see anything else from us: just bombs, fires, destroying homes, cutting your heads. A second terrorist, Mohammed Al Moqeet, adds, "Stop killing Muslims or we will kill you as you are killing Muslims.” [memri.org]

Dec. 19, 2003: In an audio tape Al-Qaida number two Ayman al-Zawahri has called American soldiers cowards "with no faith in their leaders". [transcript] [bbc]

Jan. 4, 2004: A speaker thought to be bin Laden says on an audiotape broadcast on Al-Jazeera that the U.S.-led war in Iraq is the beginning of the "occupation" of Persian Gulf states for their oil. He calls on Muslims to keep fighting a holy war in the Middle East. Officials say it is probably authentic. [transcript] [aljazeera.net]

Feb. 23, 2004: Ayman al-Zawahri warned the US of fresh attacks in an audio tape aired by Aljazeera.

Feb. 24, 2004: Ayman al-Zawahri condemned French moves to ban the Muslim headscarf in government schools. "This is a new sign of the Crusader hatred which Westerners harbour against Muslims while they boast of freedom, democracy and human rights," al-Zawahri said on the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television

April 15, 2004: A man identifying himself as bin Laden offers a "truce" to European countries that do not attack Muslims. It vows revenge against the United States for the Israeli assassination of Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin. [usatoday.com]

• May 6, 2004: An online audiotape released on Islamic forums with the purported voice of bin Laden offers rewards of gold for the killing of U.S. and U.N. officials.

June 23, 2004: An audiotape posted on the internet and purportedly recorded by Iraq's al-Qaida-linked chief Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi threatens to kill Iraqi interim prime minister Iyad Allawi.

Sept. 9, 2004: In a videotape broadcast by Al-Jazeera television, al-Zawahri proclaims the United States ultimately will be defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan. The message appears to be a rallying call for al-Qaida ahead of the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Oct. 1, 2004: Al-Jazeera television airs an audiotape purportedly from al-Zawahri in which he urges Muslim youths to carry out pre-emptive strikes against the United States and its allies. The tape also urges young Muslims to fight on even if al-Qaida leaders are killed or captured. [aljazeera.net]

Oct. 29, 2004: Al-Jazeera airs a video of bin Laden saying the United States can avoid another Sept. 11 attack if it stops threatening the security of Muslims. [transcript] [msnbc.com]

Nov. 29, 2004: Al-Jazeera airs a video of al-Zawahri in which he vows to keep fighting the United States until Washington changes its policies.

Update:
Dec. 16, 2004: An audiotape message attributed to Al-Qaida leader Usama bin Ladin and broadcast on an Islamist website on Thursday laid the blame for the unrest in Saudi Arabia on the kingdom's ruling monarchy. He also praised the attack on the US consulate in Jedda and called for more attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure. He said: “We call on all the mujahideen in the Arabian Peninsula to unify their ranks . . . and target the oil supplies that do not serve the Islamic nation but the enemies of this nation.”

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