A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hegghammer on Bin Ladin's Latest

Thomas Hegghammer over at Jihadica has some comments about the supposed Bin Ladin statement released today: he emphasizes that it does not seem directly addressed to the Obama trip despite the timing of its release, and that it was delivered on tape to Al Jazeera rather than being released on the Internet: It was delivered "the old way" and is shorter than other recent statements. The bottom line:
What we have here is a short, outdated tape delivered manually following a series of longer, up-to-date statements distributed online. This suggests to me that Bin Ladin’s personal situation has changed in the past few months. He may have moved to a new location, and/or he is taking much stricter security precautions than before.
One reason the site is worth following is that Hegghammer and his colleagues are veteran Al-Qa‘ida watchers and know what to watch for.

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