Osama bin Laden has criticised relief efforts in Pakistan and called for action against climate change in what appeared to be a new audio tape from the Al Qaeda leader.
The message marks the second time in a year that bin Laden has departed from his usual calls for armed attacks on the West to make a global theme such a natural disasters or economic crisis the centrepiece of a message.
It follows a statement in mid-September by Al Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahri also accusing the Pakistani government of reacting too slowly to the floods and a statement earlier this week by Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn on a similar theme.
The bin Laden message, about 11 minutes long, was broadcast with a video showing still images of bin Laden and images of natural disasters, the Islamist website used by Al Qaeda said.
The authenticity of the tape and its precise release date could not be immediately confirmed. However, bin Laden congratulates Muslims on the holy month of Ramadan, which started on August 11 and ended September 9.
He describes the fate of the Pakistani people following catastrophic floods, saying: “Millions of children are out in the open air, lacking basic elements of living, including drinking water, resulting in their bodies shedding liquids and subsequently their death.”
Bin Laden also touches on global warming, the second time he is believed to have made climate change a prominent theme of one of his statements.
“The huge climate change is affecting our [Islamic] nation and is causing great catastrophes throughout the Islamic world,” he says in the tape.
“It is not sufficient anymore to maintain the same relief efforts as previously, as it has become crucial to deliver tents, food and medicine.”
Who are they kidding?
Osama bin Laden died of a lung infection in December 2001 and is buried in Afghanistan. His funeral was held on the 16th December of that same year.
If he were alive today he would be 53 years old yet all the pictures we see of him are of a man in his early forties or younger.
He was 44 when he died but is ‘kept alive’ for political purposes.