UPDATE: US Government agencies reportedly have a copy of the video and they are analyzing it now. 11:25 central
The Islamist and Jihadist websites are picking up lately, and tonight I’ll be researching. I’ll post back here as I find items of interest. Current situation:
Back in early July Sudanese Islamists made plenty of threats at a gathering, as detailed today at Memri, notable were appeals to Bin Laden, and potentially hints that he might be there, or coming there.
Rita Katz of the Site Institute is reporting that Islamist websites are expecting a new tape of Bin Laden to be posted in the next 72 hours. The last video with new footage of him was in October, 2004. In the picture accomanying the announcement Bin Laden’s beard was darker, potentially died, or this could be an old photo, when Bin Laden was younger.
Bin Laden has long been silent, dead, captured, incommunicado, or uncaring — regardless of which it is he is not effectively leading, so it will be of interest if confirmed new tape instead of retread old stock does arrive. Al Sahab, Al Qaeda’s media branch, has become pretty sophisticated at video manipulation, including blue-screen like effects of substituted false backgrounds in some of their newer tapes.
Full size of the photo appears at the head of this article, as it appeared in the sole news article with a copy. Note that it appears stretched or resized horizontally. I loaded it in photoshop, and it appears to have some “edit artifacts” if you zoom in, either from “retoouching/ recoloring” with photoshop tools, or cutting the image and pasting on another background. [Editor: One of the news stories put up the WRONG photo, photo as it appears in the banner now above.]
From the Sudanese conference:
Another Sudanese Islamic leader: “The resistance now has methods and tactics. It has defeated America everywhere. What happened in Iraq is the best example. They should know, in case any future fighting takes place, that men from Sudan went to fight in Afghanistan. There was a Sudanese camp in Afghanistan. If they don’t know that – they should know. The Afghans knew about it, and would say: “The Sudanese are number one.” They knew that the Sudanese are ferocious fighters – number one! People went to fight in Iraq. The [Americans] know who they are. If they come here, the people won’t have to travel away. If the enemy comes here, it should know what will happen to it. They should be deceived by the hypocrites. Khartoum is in the heart of a vast country, one million square miles in size. The Red Sea has a coastline 1,000 km long, which the resistance can take advantage of. Every day, 10.5 million barrels of oil must reach America. If the resistance were to seal off the Red Sea, using primitive methods, it could fill it with sea mines – here and elsewhere… They are very cheap, and the mujahideen produce them themselves… America will not get 20.5 million barrels. If the Bab Al-Mandab straits are closed, America will be over and done with. They cannot exist without their life artery, which is oil. The battle will not be just in Darfur, like the president of Sudan said. It will be throughout Sudan. 15% of the American oil comes from West Africa. The mujahideen are deployed throughout Africa. They should take it into consideration. They will meet their death and destruction in Sudan. They will not come to an end in Iraq. Their annihilation will be in Sudan.
“Sudan has mountains and plains. It is the most beautiful place in which our sheikh, bin Laden, can operate.”
“Let’s use [bin Laden] to scare them. By Allah, they are terrified of him. Aren’t they terrified of him? He is destroying them. He was here once – let’s bring him again. He will come.”
In the past I’ve speculated that if Osama Bin Laden were not in Pakistan, Sudan might be a likely roost for the fugitive leader. While it’s not at the top of the list, it’s one he was at in the past.
UPDATE: US Embassy issues warning in Pakistan
PESHAWAR: The US embassy warned its citizens that it had received non-specific information regarding potential terrorist attacks against US interests or at places frequented by westerners in Pakistan, in a statement issued on Thursday. Militants could target restaurants, churches, markets, the Diplomatic Enclave and the Convention Centre in Islamabad, it said. “Americans are advised to take every precaution, avoid visiting popular markets and crowded areas, and vary routes and times,” the statement reads. “The embassy would like to remind American citizens of the need to stay alert, be aware of their surroundings, reduce travel to minimum acceptable levels, and act self-defensively at all times.”
UPDATE: AQ-Allied Islamic Courts Union leaders openly enter Eritrea to attend conference. Purportedly plans to rearm the ICU from Eritrea. This is the first case of Al Qaeda officially entering a country with permission since 9/11.