Al Qaeda leaders release new videos
In a new propaganda push, bin Laden calls for war against Pakistan's president and Darfur peacekeepers.
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Bin Laden and Zawahiri are thought to be hiding in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, where many analysts believe they have rebuilt Al Qaeda's core leadership, added the AP.Skip to next paragraph
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The Agence France-Presse reports that Pakistan has dismissed the threat to Musharraf, who has escaped two Al Qaeda assassination attempts since he became a close ally of Washington in the so-called war on terror. Pakistani military spokesman Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad told AFP, "We are already committed to fighting extremists and terrorists – there is no change in our policy.... If someone is hurling threats at us, that is their view. The whole nation is behind us and the Pakistani Army is a national institution." Nevertheless, the threats add to the difficulties facing Musharraf, who announced this week that he will seek reelection on Oct. 6, and promised to shed his Army uniform if he wins.
Musharraf has been embroiled in crisis since March, when he tried to sack the country's independent-minded chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who was later reinstated after leading a mass protest campaign.
In a video earlier this month, Bin Laden sought to make Americans sympathetic to his cause by listing the political problems within the US. RadioFreeEurope reported that he cited issues as far reaching as global warming and the subprime mortgage crisis.
But it's the issues bin Laden uses to span the partisan divide, and how he uses them, that get him into real trouble. His three main talking points are global warming, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, and the Democratic Party's failure to present a coherent, united stance in opposition to the Iraq war. Here's what we hear on each:
"The entire human race is in danger because of global warming caused in large part by emissions from the factories of large corporations."
"Many of you are buckling beneath high-interest debts, insane taxes, and mortgages...."
"As for why the Democrats have failed to stop the war, I state that it is the same reason former President [John F.] Kennedy was unable to end the war in Vietnam -- those with real power and influence are the capitalists...."
Nevertheless, polls are showing a decline in support for Al-Qaeda and its brand of radical Islam, stated Karen Hughes, US undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs, in an article for the Kuwait Times. "Six years after September 11, good and decent people of many faiths and cultures are increasingly rejecting his brutal methods," she claimed, citing polls showing a drop in support for terrorist tactics in seven of eight predominantly Muslim countries.
CNN reports on another poll suggesting that a majority of Americans - 54 percent - think the US will be unable to capture or kill the Al Qaeda leader. Results from the latest poll show a drastic shift from previous years, when a commanding majority of Americans believed the US would apprehend bin Laden.
In 2001, 78 percent of Americans were confident bin Laden would be captured or killed, compared to 66 percent in 2004 and 58 percent in 2006.