Obama Administration: OBL Finds President Obama and His Outreach to Muslim World ‘Very Threatening’

By Caitlin Taylor

Jun 3, 2009 2:01pm

ABC News' Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller report:

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA — Senior administration officials said that today's audiotape release from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and yesterday's release from Ayman al-Zawahiri, are not surprising because al Qaeda is worried that President Obama will be able to achieve some success in bridging the divide between the U.S. and the Muslim world.

"This president and his outreach are very threatening to bin Laden and al Qaeda," said a senior administration official. "It's terribly bad news to bin Laden and al Qaeda. They're beginning to lose the propaganda war."

Another official listed policies that the president opposes — torture, Guantanamo Bay — and said "a lot of their tried and true recruiting tricks have been taken off the table."

Earlier, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the White House hadn't yet reviewed the audiotape it in its entirety. "

I think the reports we’ve seen are consistent with messages we've seen from past from al Qaeda threatening the U.S. and other countries that are involved in counter-terrorism efforts," Gibbs said. "But I don’t think it’s surprising that al Qaeda would want to shift attention away from the president's historic efforts and continued efforts to reach out and have an open dialogue with the Muslim world."

– Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller

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