World News

TIMELINE: Recent Bin Laden messages

(Reuters) - Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden called for jihad over the Israeli offensive in Gaza in a new audio tape that appeared on Islamist websites on Wednesday.

More than 60 messages have been broadcast by bin Laden, his second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri and their allies since the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Last week Zawahri, in an Internet message, called on Muslims on Tuesday to strike Western and Israeli targets around the world over Israel’s Gaza raids.

Following is a timeline of major statements attributed to bin Laden in the last two years.

September 7, 2007 - Bin Laden appears in his first videotape for nearly three years, to mark the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States. In a message to the American people, bin Laden says the United States is vulnerable despite its economic and military power.

November 29 - Bin Laden urges European countries in an audiotape to end their alliance with U.S. forces in the Afghan conflict.

March 19, 2008 - Bin Laden threatens the European Union in an audio recording with grave punishment over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

March 20, 2008 - Bin Laden urges Muslims to keep up the struggle against U.S. forces in Iraq as a path to “liberating Palestine.”

May 16, 2008 - Bin Laden, in a new audio tape, urges the fight against Israel to continue and says the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the heart of the Muslim battle with the West. The speech was addressed to “Western peoples.”

May 18, 2008 - Bin Laden urges Muslims to break the Israeli-led blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, and fight Arab governments that deal with the Jewish state in an audio tape posted on the Internet.

January 14, 2009 - Bin Laden, in a new audio tape, calls for a new jihad over Gaza and says the global financial crisis has exposed waning U.S. influence in world affairs and that it will in turn weaken its ally Israel.