June 3, 2009 -- Shortly after President Obama landed in Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden's homeland, a new audio tape purported to be from the al Qaeda leader was aired today on Al Jazeera television network.
"President Obama's presence in the kingdom obviously touches a raw nerve," said former counterterrorism official Dick Clarke, now an ABC News consultant. "Bin Laden founded al Qeada in the first place because of the American presence there."
In his latest audio message, bin Laden warns Americans to prepare for war as the policies of Obama are no different from those of former President George W. Bush in the eyes of al Qaeda.
"In Swat Valley about one million Muslims were displaced including women, children and old men and now they are homeless," said bin Laden. "This means that Obama has planted new seeds for hatred and revenge against the Americans and the number of seeds is as many as the number of the people who were displaced from Swat valley. Obama has followed the steps of (Bush) who established wars with other nations. American people should prepare themselves for coming wars."
"This shows he obviously is following world events and is able to arrange the release of tapes when he wants on a schedule he wants," said Clarke. "The U.S. has no idea where bin Laden is but this tape shows he is still alive given the references to recent events."
This is not the first time bin Laden has addressed President Obama in one of his audio messages. Earlier this year, shortly before the inauguration, bin Laden released an audio asking if the United States was capable of fighting al Qaeda for another four years. In today's message, he says the hatred against America is increasing.
"I have also few words to America and may the wise hears, I will disclose the reasons why people are eager to fight America and why the hatred always increases, I say that the freemen who conducted the 9/11 attacks weren't displaced by the US army and haven't tasted the unjust of America but they heard what had happened to people in Palestine that's why they left their universities and homes and went toward America to fight and punish it, you can imagine what would the freemen (AQ Members) do if they were touched by the unjust of America," he said.
Pakistan Expanded Taliban Offensive in Swat Valley
Pakistan recently expanded it's military offensive in the Swat Valley where the Taliban and the army already have fought each other twice. Although the provincial government wanted to salvage a peace deal it signed with the Taliban in February, that deal appears to be in tatters. Bin Laden blasts Pakistan's actions in Swat as "part of an American, Jewish, Indian conspiracy".
"Zardari and Ishfaq Kiyan are working on diverting the Pakistani Army from its missions which are protecting Islam and its people and instead they fight Islam and Muslims specially the Pashtun and Bloush tribes in Swat valley, though most of the Pakistani people are against this unjust war. Zardari did this for the sake of the people who pay for him in the White House not only 10% but far much more," he said.
A U.S. counterterrorism official said, "There's never been a fake Bin Laden tape. In the past, he has timed the release of messages to major events, so it's unsurprising that he chose this particular week. While the words are different, this latest message recycles many of the broad themes of messages past. While people are still reviewing the message thoroughly, there's no reason at this point to believe that any specific or credible threat is contained in it."
Pierre Thomas contributed to this report.