UPDATE 1-Bin Laden criticises Pakistan relief mission

Fri Oct 1, 2010 8:09am EDT

* Bin Laden criticises relief efforts in Pakistan

* Al Qaeda leader urges action against climate change

(Adds quotes, background)

By Martina Fuchs and Tamara Walid

DUBAI, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden 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 issued on Friday in an Islamist forum.

The audio message, entitled "Pauses with the Method of Relief Work", was about 11 minutes long and 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 Aug. 11 and ended Sept. 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."#

Islamic charities, some with suspected ties to militant groups, were quicker than the Pakistani government to provide relief to flood victims.

Pakistani and U.S. officials have repeatedly expressed concern that the Taliban and other militant groups could exploit the disarray to gain recruits.

Bin Laden urges a "huge transformation" in how relief work is executed, calling the number of victims of climate change much bigger than the victims of war.

He blames countries in the region for setting aside a "huge part" of their budgets to finance armies without having any impact on the Palestinian cause.

"Spending is nowhere in comparison to what is being spent on those armies," he says.

The message was bin Laden's first since March 25, when he threatened to execute any Americans taken prisoner by al Qaeda if accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was executed.

U.S. soldiers and Afghan militia forces launched a large-scale assault on the Tora Bora mountains in 2001 after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States in pursuit of the Saudi-born bin Laden.

But he has never been found and is believed to be hiding in the mountainous border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

(Reporting by Martina Fuchs and Tamara Walid; Additional reporting by Jason Benham; Editing by Noah Barkin)

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Comments (36)
SKVAM wrote:
What a hypocrite. He claims to have concerns for “millions” of children and others exposed to the elements, but in a heartbeat would consider them appropriate “collateral damage” when murdering some unfortunate target of his. His “charity” is to murderers and thugs, destroyers who have no morals other than what is found in the violence advocated by his holy book and the backward and brutal history of Islamic imperialism. These are the last mutterings of a murderer.

Oct 01, 2010 9:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
cashman57 wrote:
In case nobody said so, osama bin laden is in a small unmarked grave pushing up poppies and has been for years. These “new” recordings do not have any video because there’s nothing to video.
As far as climate change, well that’s another urban legend. To believe we can control the thermostat of the planet by taxing Americans is stupid and I wonder why some people still fall for the nonsense.

Oct 01, 2010 10:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TJP wrote:
Of COURSE he’s advocating in favor of “action against climate change”. None of the developing or third-world countries are signing on (specifically, neither China nor any Muslim country), so the entire financial burden and resulting economic collapse will be born by the US and western Europe and maybe a handful of other countries such as Japan and Israel. It’s a way to damage us economically so we can’t afford to do anything outside our borders.

And practically speaking, even if humans were causing Global Warming (and it’s now actually Global Cooling…), it’s statistically impossible to have an ounce of effect using cap-and-trade. Europe’s already tried it and failed, and the reason is that it puts you at a trade disadvantage vs other nations, and therefore just moves industry from more efficient nations to highly polluting nations. You get MORE global pollution, not less. China, for instance, pollutes 3x as much as the US per unit of production. If we increase costs here, that means more products being produced in China.

Oct 01, 2010 11:20am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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