Bin Laden Speaks
The tape was aired by Al-Jazeera despite significant pressure from the American and Qatari governments. It is unclear how Al-Jazeera got the tape.
The video runs eighteen minutes in length, with bin Laden speaking for slightly under fifteen minutes. He appears to be in good health, which would indicate he is under medical care given that he has a variety of health problems. Perhaps more importantly, bin Laden speaks of the American election, claiming that neither Bush nor Kerry control the safety of the American people but rather individual citizens. OBL continues to state that they will not attack American if America does not attack them. He condemns the role of the US in the Middle East, citing the invasion of Lebanon as the formative point in his life which created his ideology. In light of recent information that as many as 100,000 Iraqi civilians died during the war it is easy to see why Muslims may be extremely angry with the Western World.
Perhaps the most powerful part of the tape is bin Laden's response to Bush's claim that Al Qaeda attacked America because they hate freedom. His answer was simple and to the point. Why then, did we not attack Sweden?