The tape of Osama bin Laden that was aired on Al-Jazeera(1) on Friday, October 29th included a specific threat to “each U.S. state,” designed to influence the outcome of the upcoming election against George W. Bush. The U.S. media in general mistranslated the words “ay wilaya” (which means “each U.S. state”)(2) to mean a “country” or “nation” other than the U.S., while in fact the threat was directed specifically at each individual U.S. state. This suggests some knowledge by bin Laden of the U.S. electoral college system. In a section of his speech in which he harshly criticized George W. Bush, bin Laden stated: “Any U.S. state that does not toy with our security automatically guarantees its own security.”
The Islamist website Al-Qal’a explained what this sentence meant: “This message was a warning to every U.S. state separately. When he [Osama Bin Laden] said, ‘Every state will be determining its own security, and will be responsible for its choice,’ it means that any U.S. state that will choose to vote for the white thug Bush as president has chosen to fight us, and we will consider it our enemy, and any state that will vote against Bush has chosen to make peace with us, and we will not characterize it as an enemy. By this characterization, Sheikh Osama wants to drive a wedge in the American body, to weaken it, and he wants to divide the American people itself between enemies of Islam and the Muslims, and those who fight for us, so that he doesn’t treat all American people as if they’re the same. This letter will have great implications inside the American society, part of which are connected to the American elections, and part of which are connected to what will come after the elections.”(3)
MEMRI has a translation here. The NY Post says that what was not seen was the cave-dwelling terror lord talking about the setbacks al Qaeda has faced in recent months. It remains to be seen whether al-Jazeera will release the entire tape. I don’t harbor any hopes they will.
An interesting threat – an intra-state version of the ceasefire/divide-and-conquer offer/ultimatum given by Osama to Europe a few months ago – alas, it won’t have any electoral impact in the US, since the public has no clue what Osama really meant.
A cave hire – $5
New robes – $100
A camcoder – $500
Having your tape played by every major network a few days before the election – better publicity than another terrorist attack somewhere in Yemen.
Making sure the infidels understand what you’re actually saying – priceless.
Arthur also has part 2 of Good news from the Islamic world