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Osama praises Arab spring in tape

world Updated: May 20, 2011 00:55 IST
Sami Aboudi
Sami Aboudi
Reuters
Highlight Story

Al Qaeda released a posthumous audio recording by Osama bin Laden in which he praised revolutions sweeping through several Arab countries, and called for more Muslim “tyrants” to be toppled.

The audio was included in an Internet video more than 12 minutes-long and posted on Islamist websites.

“The sun of the revolution has risen from the Maghreb. The light of the revolution came from Tunisia. It has given the
nation tranquility and made the faces of the people happy,” the speaker, whose sounds like bin Laden, said.

“To the Muslim nation — we are watching with you this great historic event and share with you the joy and happiness. Congratulations for your victories and may God grant your martyrs mercy, your injured recovery and your prisoners freedom.”

Tunisia’s president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown by mass protests in January, followed by Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak.
Bin Laden praised the Egyptian revolution and urged Arab protesters to maintain their momentum, adding: “I believe that the winds of change will envelope the entire Muslim world.”

“This revolution was not for food and clothing. Rather, it was a revolution of glory and pride, a revolution of sacrifice and giving. It has lit the Nile’s cities and its villages from its lower reaches to the top,” he said.

“To those free rebels in all the countries — retain the initiative and be careful of dialogue. No meeting mid-way between the people of truth and those of deviation.”

Bin Laden made no specific reference to Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen, where pro-democracy protesters have had less success than in Egypt and Tunisia, but said Israel, reviled by many ordinary Arabs, was worried by the unrest.

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