Dr. Walid Phares

www.walidphares.com

PHARES ON BIN LADEN AUDIO TAPE

      "THE DISCOURSE IS GENUINE, THE THREATS ARE CREDIBLE"

           IRAQ AND AL-QAIDA ROUTES ARE CONVERGING"

Washington DC, September 7, 2002

Commenting on the newly released audio tape of Bin Laden Mideast and Terrorism expert Walid Phares said "the discourse on the tape is a genuine al-Qaida statement. It expresses the general ideological and strategic thinking of the Bin Laden's group regardless of who's voice it is." Phares, who monitors the Jihadist movement worldwide said "the threats announced by the audio tape and aired by al-Jazeera are credible. They do not divert from the essential and consistent doctrine of the Jihadist movement. If you read the content of this tape -in plain Arabic- and compare it to the vast literature produced by al-Qaida after September 11, and even since 1998, you would certainly find that the intentions of resuming the campaign against the United States and its allies are solid and systematic."

An interesting segment, added Phares, is the direct threat against "America's economic lifeline." "This suggest a clear geo-political message by al-Qaida. It puts the maritime lines in the Gulf, the Mediterranean and South Asia under fire. The opening of the seas as a new Jihad area of operation should draw the attention of the Western strategic planners. Remember that al-Qaida has developed a "naval unit" which it has used against the USS Cole. It can, and would probably use it again. The Iraq and al-Qaida routes are converging more then ever. 

Phares once again questioned the exact role of al-Jazeera in the broadcast of Bin Laden's appeals. "The timing of the airing, the comments made after the broadcast and the repetitiveness of those broadcasts leads me to conclude that al-Jazeera is a decision-maker in the propagation of this literature and doctrine. By simply reviewing the methods, analysis and chronology of the video campaign of al-Jazeera, any observer would conclude that the station is playing a tremendous role in getting the message through to the Arab and Muslim masses. The efficiency of al-Jazeera's media activism has at some point more impact then the actual message."

Walid Phares, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Middle East Studies

Ethnic and Religious Conflict