He’s going to declare war on Musharraf
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden declares “war” on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and his army in a new message to be released by the network’s media arm, according to IntelCenter, a US organization, which monitors Islamist websites.
IntelCenter said the video or audio message, entitled “Come to Jihad,” was expected to be released in the next 72 hours.
Meanwhile, in another video released by Al-Qaeda’s media arm, Al-Sahab, bin Laden’s deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri also warned that Musharraf would be “punished” over the killing of a Pakistani cleric killed in the storming of the Red Mosque in Islamabad in July. [IE]
While this may or may not mean much to Gen Musharraf’ security, it’s likely to help him look good in America. And that, unfortunately, is what really counts at this time.
Update: The tapeworm’s message is out and roundly condemns “Pervez” (they are on first name terms). Interestingly, bin Laden compares the Lal Masjid operation to the demolition of Babri Masjid in India.
Another update: Megan McArdle’s offers some astute commentary:
But why would Osama do this? Previously, he had a fairly stable arrangement; Musharraf couldn’t root him out of the tribal areas for various military and political reasons, and Osama couldn’t bring on the Caliphate just yet. But last time I looked, the Caliphate didn’t seem terribly imminent. Meanwhile, he has just given Pervez Musharraf and any waverers in his government a much stronger incentive to find Osama and his merry band of cave-dwelling madmen.
This is the kind of overreach that has caused every government that has ever offered him shelter to ultimately kick him out, except for Afghanistan, which didn’t have much of a government. Even so, he went and found another government to kick him out. And where will he go this time? He’s running out of lawless quasi-states to hide in. [Megan McArdle/Atlantic]