In a recently released recording, Osama bin Laden, head of the al-Qaida terrorist network, falsely accuses the West of waging a war against Islam.
The tape demonstrates al-Qaida's increasing emphasis on ideological and propaganda activity. Efforts by the U.S.-led coalition have largely succeeded in denying the group its safe haven in Afghanistan, disrupted al-Qaida's operations, and resulted in many terrorist leaders being captured or killed.
Taped threats will not weaken the U.S. commitment to work with allies to combat international terrorism and violent extremism, or to bring to justice those responsible for the murder of innocent civilians.
According to news reports, bin-Laden is in hiding somewhere near the Afghanistan – Pakistan border. White House spokesman Scott McClellan says the bin Laden tape suggests, "The al Qaida leadership is on the run and under a lot of pressure." President George W. Bush says men like Osama bin Laden seek to pervert "a noble faith into an ideology of terror and death":
"Terrorists like bin Laden are serious about mass murder – and all of us must take their declared intentions seriously. They seek to impose a heartless system of totalitarian control throughout the Middle East, and arm themselves with weapons of mass murder."
"But," says Mr. Bush, "they have miscalculated. We love our freedom," he says, "and we will fight to keep it."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.