In a posthumous audio recording released by al-Qaeda Thursday, bin Laden praises the Middle East uprisings and calls for more Muslim “tyrants” to be overthrown, in an attempt to connect Islamist militant groups like al-Qaeda to the popular revolt sweeping the Arab world.
Islamists have waged bloody but unsuccessful campaigns to topple these same rulers in the past, but the ordinary citizens leading the Middle East uprisings have decidedly left militant groups out of it.
He chose not to mention Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen, where protests have been less successful, but crowed that Israel was concerned by the unrest.
Bin Laden allegedly recorded the message a week before his death.
Listen to the recording and read the translated quotes from the audio below:
“The sun of the revolution has risen from the Maghreb [Western region of North Africa]. The light of the revolution came from Tunisia. It has given the nation tranquility and made the faces of the people happy.”
“To the Muslim nation — we are watching with you this great historic event and share with you the joy and happiness. Congratulations for your victories and may God grant your martyrs mercy, your injured recovery and your prisoners freedom.”
“I believe that the winds of change will envelope the entire Muslim world.”
“This revolution was not for food and clothing. Rather, it was a revolution of glory and pride, a revolution of sacrifice and giving. It has lit the Nile's cities and its villages from its lower reaches to the top.”
“To those free rebels in all the countries — retain the initiative and be careful of dialogue. No meeting midway between the people of truth and those of deviation.”