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New Bin Laden Message Imminent

A new banner appeared on several Jihadist message boards this evening to advance a forthcoming as-Sahab product featuring Osama bin Laden called "A Message to the European People." The accompanying forum thread, written in Arabic by a user with the name "Terrorism Lover" who regularly posts as-Sahab announcements, urges readers to cross-post the announcement on English-language Web sites in order to "give (Westerners) the unseen truth of their failed war." The message and news wire stories it has generated have been cross-posted on dozens of other forums and blogs, including leading English-language Jihadi propaganda message boards.

Promotional banner for upcoming bin Laden message

The upcoming statement will mark bin Laden's fifth appearance in 2007, all of which have been disseminated since September, suggesting to counterterrorism analysts that the head of al-Qaeda is comfortable with his current security. According to former Indian intelligence chief B. Raman, "The sudden increase in the frequency of his messages reflected his confidence that he was now in a safe position where the American intelligence agencies and security forces would not be able to reach him and where there would be little likelihood of his being betrayed by those tempted by the American offer of huge cash rewards for anyone helping in having him killed or captured."

Table of 2007 as-Sahab releases featuring Osama bin Laden
Product Title
Sep 7
"The Solution: A Speech to the American People"
Sep 11
"The Will of Walid al-Shehri"
Sep 20
"Come to Jihad: A Speech to the People of Pakistan"
Oct 22
"To Our People in Iraq"

While the product is likely to be in video form it is unclear whether it will feature new footage of bin Laden or recently recorded audio. The photo used in as-Sahab's promotional banner appears to be an old stock photo.

The previous as-Sahab product featuring bin Laden, "To Our People in Iraq," was delivered to al Jazeera before its distribution on the Internet and led to Jihadist outrage at the Qatar-based news channel for not airing the speech in full. The appearance of the advance banner on the main forums suggests that the new message will be an Internet release.