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Web site to carry new bin Laden tape on Iraq

DUBAI (Reuters) - An Islamist Web site said on Friday it would carry a new recording from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden about “foiling plots” in Iraq.

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is seen speaking in this file photo of a video grab provided to Reuters on September 11, 2007. An Islamist Web site said on Friday it would carry a new recording from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden about "foiling plots" in Iraq. REUTERS/Internet

The Web site said the 56-minute recording would also be about the Islamic State in Iraq, an al Qaeda-linked group in the country.

It did not say when the video or audio recording, produced by al Qaeda’s media arm As-Sahab and entitled “The Path to Foiling Plots in Iraq”, would be posted.

Al Qaeda messages have been often released within three days of their announcement on Web sites.

“May God expose the cover-up by Al Jazeera, the channel of the infidels,” said the Web site, which is often used to issue messages from al Qaeda.

It was not clear whether this meant bin Laden would speak about a controversy in which his supporters have accused the popular news channel of misrepresenting his comments on Iraq.

Some Islamists have said Al Jazeera misrepresented bin Laden’s views by airing excerpts of comments he made in October that insurgents had made mistakes in Iraq because of fanaticism.

While the Iraqi wing of al Qaeda remains at the forefront of many groups fighting U.S. forces and the Shi’ite-led government supported by Washington, its fighters have faced growing opposition in the Sunni areas of Iraq where they operate.

Angered by deadly attacks against Iraqis who fail to follow their hardline interpretation of Islam, Sunni tribes have begun to turn against the al Qaeda militants they once backed.

An increase in U.S. troops, more efficient Iraqi security forces and new neighbourhood patrols organised by mainly Sunni Arab tribes have been credited with a decline in violence and a fall in civilian and U.S. military casualties in the past two months.

Reporting by Firouz Sedarat; editing by Andrew Dobbie