Schlagwort-Archive: Navy Seals

What Is Osama´s Last Tape About?

by Florian Flade

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They are the first glimpse at what US intelligence officials describe as a „treasure trove“, the largest amount of documents, video and picture material found in a single counter-terrorism raid in years – 2.7 terrabytes of data found inside Osama Bin Laden´s hideout in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, giving a rare insight look into Al-Qaida´s leadership.

Last week, the Pentagon released five videos which were among those found inside the Bin Laden compound, all showing the late Al-Qaida leader prior to  his death, watching TV or preparing for the recording of a video message. All audio data of the videos was erased by the US authorities, so none of the videos given to the media actually has any sound.

While the media focussed primarly on one video – the unusual footage of the elderly, grey-bearded terrorist leader sitting on the ground, a blanket wrapped around his shoulders, surfing through Arabic TV channels, obviously watching news about himself and his terrorist network – the most interesting of the newly released „Bin Laden Home-Videos“ is not the raw footage but the apparently ready-for-release video speech by the Al-Qaida founder.

It appears to be a message by Bin Laden that has already underwent the final editing process of As-Sahab Media, Al-Qaida´s propaganda wing, bearing the usual intro and the As-Sahab logo in the lower right corner of the screen. Osama Bin Laden is seen sitting on a table, wearing a golden robe and a white turban. His beard was obviously dyed in a darker color. The whole scene is very similar to the last two officially released Bin Laden tapes in 2004 and 2007.

The 2007 video message titled „The Solution“, was released by Al-Qaida´s As-Sahab Media on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks and featured Bin Laden also with a dark-colored beard, sitting at a table with a golden-lavish robe.


In 2004, only a few days prior the US Presidential Elections, Al-Jazeera aired a blurry Bin Laden video message in which the Al-Qaida leader also wore the same robe and a white turban. Back then, his beard was not dyed but greyish, making Bin Laden look quiet older compared to the following and since then only other video message in 2007.

Question is: What do we know about what appears to be the last recorded video message of the most-wanted man alive? The intro of the now Pentagon-owned tape simply reads „From Osama Bin Laden to the American People“ – a title used in earlier messages. Apart from Bin Laden himself talking no other images are seen. In the As-Sahab „closing“ of the tape, a date and a statement is given, saying the tape was made in 1431 a.H. – meaning probably in 2010 according to the Gregorian calender. The Arabic closing statement of the 6 minutes and 40 seconds tape reads: „Either we live under Islam or we die a generous death“.

So what could be the topic Bin Laden talks about in this tape? Why was the video if recorded last year, not released since then? Why is the US government not releasing the content of the Bin Laden speech to the American people?

A) –  the video was made in 2010 but Bin Laden himself or the As-Sahab staff decided not to release it – maybe because they thought it could harm the secret life and hideout of the Al-Qaida leader or because they realized actually footage was not necessary to deliver the message and instead they released an audio tape of the speech

B)  – the message is not a specific one dealing with an current event like a hostage taking in North Africa, the US drone campaign, the parcel bomb plot or other developments that happened last year but a very universal statement – that can be released at any time, for example a speech where Bin Laden talks about his own death.

C) – the Bin Laden speech deals with a very specific event and the Al-Qaida founder talks about for example: the parcel bomb plot by Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. The attacks failed in October 2010 but maybe Bin Laden recorded the tape in case the bomb successfully exploded in the United States

D) – the video message could be one recorded as a claim of responsibility for an attack that was not yet carried out  for example: the alleged „Euro-Plot“

Until the Pentagon releases a transcript or the audio of the video, Al-Qaida releases the tape or a US official says in a statement what Bin Laden talks about, we will not find out what his final tape was about.

The fact that it seems to be ready for release until the US Special Forces got hold of it, could very well mean the As-Sahab distributors, those releasing the propaganda to the Internet forums, are already in possession of the tape. A Pentagon statement after the Abbottabad raid said, it is likely a new tape of Bin Laden will appear soon as he recorded one shortly before his death. It contains the usual propaganda, the Pentagon said, so it shouldn´t be a surprise for the public.

Al-Qaida itself highlighted in the eulogy statement to its Amir, that a message of Bin Laden, recorded in the week before he was killed, will be released soon, also dealing with the events in North Africa.

A few weeks ago I interviewed Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA´s „Alec-Station“ known as the „Bin Laden-Unit“. I asked him why since 2007 there was no new video apprearence of the Al-Qaida leader. Scheuer´s answer was mainly his own opinion but still a very interesting thought:

„The one thing Bin Laden knows that we have long since forgotten: there is power in silence. I suspect we keep getting audios, there won´t be a video till he attacks again in the United States. After that occurs we get a video in which he talks to the American people in sorrow rather than anger, saying: I warned you about this.“

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Bin Laden-Son´s Letter About Father´s Death

by Florian Flade

Letter signed by Omar Bin Laden

For the first time since US Special Forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden nearly one week ago, relatives of the most-wanted terrorist have issued a statement on his death. A blog operated by one a former Jihadi colleague of Osama Bin Ladens, released a document yesterday allegedly written by the sons of the al-Qaida founder. The letter bears the signature of Osama Bin Laden´s fourth son, Omar.

„We have received the news given by US-President Obama that US troops attacked the compound of our father, Osama Bin Laden (…) and killed him instead of arresting him“, reads the single-page letter. The killing of Bin Laden is regarded by the family as the „strongest violation of human feelings“, according to the document. Now, the letter says, President Obama is obliged to fully investigate the fate of Osama Bin Laden and release the DNA analysis.

Dumping Bin Ladens body in the sea is „not acceptable from humanitarian and religious standpoint“, it is described as a „reckless and abusive towards the family“. The feelings of hundreds of millions of Muslims were hurt by this action, the Bin Laden son writes. As children of Osama Bin Laden, his sons now feel the responsibility and right to demand full investigation into the death of their father.

The letter, who´s authenticity cannot be independently verified was signed by Omar Bin Osama Bin Laden. Other sons of the al-Qaida leader, are not named although the document claims to speak in their name. At least five of the ten known sons of Osama Bin Laden have turned their back on their father and his violent campaign of terrorism. They no longer belong to the al-Qaida circle and left Bin Laden years ago. One of the sons, 24 year-old Ali, was sentenced to 18 years in prison by a Saudi court in 2008 for illegal possession of a gun.

The alleged author of the newly released statement, Omar Bin Laden, was born in 1981 in the Saudi coastal town of Jeddah. He is the son of Osama Bin Laden and his Syrian wife Najwa Ghanem. Omar left his father in 2001 and is an outspoken critic of al-Qaida´s terrorism. Due to his renunciation of Jihad, he was able to regain his Saudi citizenship. Meanwhile Omar Bin Laden is married to a British woman in his second marriage and is seeking to obtain a permission to move to a European country or the United States.

In 2009 Omar Bin Laden and his mother wrote a biographical book titled „Growing Up Bin Laden“, in which both describe their lives as relatives of World´s most-wanted man.

Omar´s alleged letter about his father´s death was published on the webiste run by the former Egyptian Jihadi fighter Abu Walid al-Masri. Al-Masri, born in 1945 in Egypt allegedly worked for Mercedes Benz in Kuwait before joining the Arab Mujahidin in Afghanistan in their fight against the Soviets in the 1980s. He worked as a journalist, reporting about the Jihad news from the frontlines. During that time Al-Masri met Osama Bin Laden.

He claimed he was never part of al-Qaida and strongly criticized the organization´s violent agenda. One of Al-Masri´s daughters is allegedly married to Saif al-Adl, who had been living in Iran and is now said to be part of the al-Qaida infrastructure in the Pakistani tribal areas of North-Waziristan, acting as Al-Qaida´s Military Chief.

Abu Walid al-Masri, living under house arrest in Iran for some years, is an active blogger, release comments on Muslim affairs and the war in Afghanistan on a regular basis on his Arabi-language website.

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von Florian Flade

Erstmals seit der Tötung des al-Qaida Führers Osama Bin Laden vor knapp einer Woche, haben sich Verwandte des Dschihad-Führers in einem Brief offenbar zu Wort gemeldet. Auf einer von einem ehemaligen Kampfgefährten Bin Ladens betriebenen Webseite erschien gestern ein Dokument, das von den Söhnen des Al-Qaida Gründers verfasst worden sein soll. Das Schriftstück, das mir vorliegt, trägt die Unterschrift von Bin Ladens viertem Sohn, Omar (30).

„Wir haben mit Bedauern die Nachricht des US-Präsident Obama erhalten, dass US Truppen das Haus unseres Vaters, Osama Bin Laden, angegriffen haben (…) und ihn töteten anstatt ihn festzunehmen“, heißt es in dem einseitigen Dokument. Die Tat wird insbesondere mit Blick auf die in Bin Ladens Versteck anwesenden Familienmitglieder als „schwerste Verletzung menschlicher Gefühle“ beschrieben. Es sei nun die Pflicht von Präsident Obama, das Schicksal Bin Ladens aufzuklären und DNA Beweise vorzubringen, heißt es weiter.

Aus „humanitärer und religiöser Sicht ist es nicht akzeptabel“, so der Verfasser des Briefes, die Leiche Bin Ladens nicht an die Familie zu übergeben, sondern sie im Meer zu versenken. „Diese Vorgehensweise ist rücksichtslos und beleidigend gegenüber seiner Familie“, schreiben die Söhne Bin Ladens. Als Kinder von Osama Bin Laden behandelte man sich nun das Recht vor, auf Aufklärung zu drängen, um das Schicksal des al-Qaida Führers aufzuklären.

Unterzeichnet wurde das Dokument, dessen Authentizität „Welt Online“ nicht bestätigten kann, von Omar Bin Osama Bin Laden. Weitere Söhne Bin Ladens, in deren Namen der Brief verfasst sein soll, werden nicht genannt. Mindestens fünf der insgesamt zehn bekannten Söhne Osama Bin Ladens, haben sich vom Vater losgesagt und leben nicht mehr im Umfeld der Al-Qaida. Ein Sohn, der 24jährige Ali, wurde 2008 von einem saudi-arabischen Gericht zu 18 Jahren Haft wegen Waffenbesitz verurteilt.

Der angebliche Verfasser des nun aufgetauchten Briefes, Omar Bin Laden, kam 1981 in der saudiarabischen Hafenstadt Dschidda zur Welt und ist ein Sohn Osama Bin Ladens und der Syrerin Najwa Ghanem. Er kehrte der Gewalt der al-Qaida den Rücken und verließ seinen Vater 2001. Ihm gelang es, durch die klare Loslösung von seinem Vater und der Kritik am blutigen Terror der al-Qaida, die saudi-arabische Staatsbürgerschaft wieder zu erlangen. Inzwischen ist Omar Bin Laden in zweiter Ehe mit einer Britin verheiratet. 2009 verfasste er zusammen mit seiner Mutter das Buch „Growing Up Bin Laden“, in dem er seine Erlebnisse als Sohn des meistgesuchten Terroristen der Welt schildert.

Veröffentlicht wurde der angebliche Brief der Bin Laden Söhne, den Omar Bin Laden unterzeichnet haben soll, auf der Webseite des ehemaligen ägyptischen Dschihad-Kämpfers Abu Walid al-Masri. Al-Masri, der 1945 in Ägypten geboren worden sein soll und angeblich eine Zeit lang für Mercedes Benz in Kuwait tätig war, zog in den 80er Jahren als einer von hunderten arabischen Freiwilligen in den Krieg gegen die Sowjetunion in Afghanistan. Er berichtete als Journalist der Mudschaheddin über die Ereignisse an der Front und lernte dabei wohl auch Osama Bin Laden kennen.

Nach eigener Aussage war al-Masri nie Teil von al-Qaida sondern wandte sich sogar gegen die Methoden des Terrornetzwerkes. Ein Tochter al-Masris soll verheiratet sein mit Saif al-Adl, dem mutmaßlichen Militärchef von Al-Qaida, der ebenfalls aus Ägypten stammt und einst ein Oberst der Streitkräfte war. Abu Walid al-Masri soll seit einigen Jahren im Iran unter Hausarrest leben. Von dort aus betreibt er ein arabischsprachiges Blog, auf dem er regelmäßig Kommentare zum Krieg in Afghanistan abliefert.

25 Million Dollar Bin Laden-Reward To Christiane Amanpour (!)

by Florian Flade


The question all those journalists, authors and researchers working on terrorism and al-Qaida will (or rather said did) hear sooner or later: „Where is Osama Bin Laden?“ Most of us would have answered:

A in the Pakistani tribal areas
B in a remote Afghan province like Kunar or Nuristan
C in a remote Pakistani region like Bajaur or Kashmir
D in a small hideout in a big Pakistani city like Karachi

Back in 2008, senior war-correspondent Christiane Amanour had a very different answer when she was a guest at Bill Maher´s „Real Time“ Show on HBO. She said someone „very knowledgable“, a woman who was „in American intelligence“ told her „Bin Laden is in a nice, comfortable villa in Pakistan“.

Three years have passed since Amanpour made that statement on Maher´s show, and who would have thought the experienced reporter was closer to the truth than she possibly could have imagined herself? On May 1th 2011, a team of US Navy Seals raided a mansion in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, north of Islamabad, and killed the Al-Qaida leader in the villa-like compound that was in fact Osama Bin Laden´s hideout for almost five years.

Isn´t Mrs.Amanopour´s clue to the Bin Laden residence worth the US-$ 25 Million reward the United States had offered for information leading to the capture or killing of Osama Bin Laden?