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Thursday, January 19

HFS: Bin Laden Says New US Attacks Prepared

March, 2002. Press Conference at the White House

Q But don't you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won't truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban.

B-b-but I thought he was responsible for 9/11. He wasn't?

Reuters, 3 minutes ago: Bin Laden says new US attacks prepared

Osama bin Laden warned that al Qaeda was preparing new attacks inside the United States, but said the group was open to a conditional truce with Americans, according to an audio tape attributed to him on Thursday.

"The operations are under preparation and you will see them in your houses as soon as they are complete, God willing," said the speaker on the audio tape, who sounded like bin Laden.

In the tape, broadcast by al Jazeera television, bin Laden said al Qaeda was willing to respond to public U.S. opinion in favor of withdrawing troops from Iraq.

"We have no objection to responding to this with a long term truce based on fair conditions."
So waddaya think? Bin Laden or Bush? An excuse to gets the troops out of Iraq? An excuse to escalate the war? A way to boost the president's ratings by instilling fear in the US?

UPDATE: Worldwide Blondesense: I was contacted by the BBC to voice my questions about this news on "World Have Your Say" at about 1PM NY Time. I'll let you know when it is available for streaming or if I can find the stream online. It was supposed to be there, but it's not. Apparently the experts believe it's really OBL despite the excellent timing of his latest threat.

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