Bin Laden: Obama is Planting Seeds of Hatred

Top terrorist warns of "consequences" after the visit

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden lashed out at President Obama's trip to the Middle East Thursday, saying in a new tape that the commander in chief is planting seeds of "revenge and hatred" in the Muslim world -- and that the United States should be prepared for "consequences" after the visit.

"Obama and his administration have planted new seeds that fuels more hatred and vengeance toward Americans," bin Laden said in Arabic on the tape, aired Wednesday on al-Jazeera networks after the President's plane touched down in Saudi Arabia.

The al-Qaida leader, still at large after the 9/11 attacks, said Obama was following in President George W. Bush's footsteps in Middle East policy and criticized Obama's role in the Pakistani military offensive against Taliban forces.

"The number of these seeds equates that of those suffering in Swat and in the tribal areas in South Waziristan. Obama has thus walked in the footsteps of his predecessor," CBS News reported bin Laden fumed on the tape.

"Let the American people prepare themselves to harvest the consequences of their leadership's actions," he said.

Al-Qaida's number two Ayman al-Zawahri also on Tuesday criticized Obama's upcoming speech in Cairo, saying it will not change the "bloody messages" the U.S. military is sending Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"His bloody messages were received and are still being received by Muslims, and they will not be concealed by public relations campaigns or by farcical visits or elegant words," Al-Zawahri said in a new audio message posted on militant Web sites.

Al-Zawahri said in the 12-minute tape played on militant Web sites that Egyptians should reject Obama when he makes his speech -- calling him a "criminal" who deceived the people of the Middle East and would support "tyrannical, rotten regimes" in the region. He also criticized Obama's trip to Israel, saying Obama proved his loyalty to the Jewish people when he made a visit at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall, where he wore a traditional Jewish yarmulke.

Al-Qaida has repeatedly lashed out at Obama since he was elected, a move some analysts believe indicates the terrorist organization is worried he will be effective in improving the U.S. image in the Muslim world. Obama has pitched his speech at Cairo University on Thursday as a key part of that process.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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