April 23, 2006: New Bin Laden Tape Holds American People Responsible for War

By Laura Mansfield

Osama Bin Laden's voice rang out from Al Jazeera this morning in a newly released audiotaped message. So far, only two excerpts from the tape have been released and aired on Al Jazeera.

Bin Laden's talking points this morning focused on Hamas and Palestine in the first excerpt, and on breakup of the Ottoman Empire and Sudan in the second portion.

He refers back to the statements of Dr. Ayman Zawahiri, who in a previous tape warned Hamas against entering into any kind of agreement with the West.

"Further proof to this is their rejection of Hamas after its election victory. We re-iterate what Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri has already warned against, entering into partnership with the infidels."

Bin Laden cites the opposition against Hamas from the US and Europe as proof of the existence of a "Zionist Crusade" against Islam.

Bin Laden places responsibility of the war on the people as well as the government.

I tell you, any war is the joint responsibility of the people and their governments. And war rages on and the people are renewing their support of their leaders and politicians. They continue to send their sons to war to fight us. They continue to support them financially and morally while our countries are burned, our homes are bombed and our people are killed and no one cares about us.

It appears that Bin Laden may be setting up further justification for an attack on the US or its allies, one that would have considerable civilian casualties. He makes it very clear that he holds he people of America, the civilian population, responsible for the actions of the US military.

The second portion of the released segment of the tape refers to the Sudan. He speaks of the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, and the resulting state building that occurred.

Bin Laden then goes on to place responsibility for the humanitarian crisis in Darfur on US and British interference.

He calls for Muslims in the Saudi Arabia and in Sudan to prepare for a long war against the US and coalition forces.

We will update as more portions are released.

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