Bin Laden joins climate change crusade, points finger at West
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Al-Qaeda figurehead Osama bin Laden slammed industrial nations, insisting they were "responsible for the crisis of global warming," in his latest audio message aired by Al-Jazeera television.
AFP - Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden lectured the US and other industrial nations on climate change, and urged a dollar boycott in response to American "slavery," in a fresh verbal assault broadcast Friday.
In the message aired on Al-Jazeera television, possibly timed to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos, bin Laden said "all industrial nations, mainly the big ones, are responsible for the crisis of global warming."
"Discussing climate change is not an intellectual luxury, but a reality," he said in the audio recording whose authenticity could not be immediately verified.
"This is a message to the whole world about those who are causing climate change, whether deliberately or not, and what we should do about that."
The Al-Qaeda chief condemned the administration of former US president George W. Bush for refusing to sign the Kyoto protocol on cutting carbon emissions.
"Bush... and the Congress before him, rejected this agreement, only to satisfy the big companies," said bin Laden.
"Those (firms) are behind speculation and monopolies, and rises in prices... and they are behind globalisation and its tragic results."
Bin Laden also slammed financial bailouts set up by wealthy countries to help big industry cope with the global financial crisis, saying the programmes helped companies that caused the economic meltdown.
"When those perpetrators fall victims to the evil they had committed, the heads of states rush to rescue them using public money.
He also borrowed from prominent American leftist Noam Chomsky, saying the US administration operates like the mafia.
"Chomsky was right when he pointed to a resemblance between American policies and the approach of mafia gangs. Those are the real terrorists," said bin Laden.
He was apparently referring to comments made in British newspaper The Guardian in November by Chomsky, a linguistics professor famous for his attacks on US policy.
The Al-Qaeda leader went on to urge a boycott of the US dollar.
"We should stop using the dollar and get rid of it... I know that there would be huge repercussions for that, but this would be the only way to free humankind from slavery... to America and its companies," he said.
"Whatever the repercussions of such (boycott) decision would be, staying in slavery to them would have bigger and more dangerous results."
The broadcast came less than a week after bin Laden praised as a "hero" Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who allegedly tried to detonate explosives on a US plane approaching Detroit on Christmas Day, in another audio message.
"The message that was conveyed through the (attack on the) plane... is that America should not dream of security until we enjoy it as a reality in Palestine," he said in the message aired on Sunday by Al-Jazeera.
The authenticity of that statement is also yet to be verified, but IntelCenter, a US group that monitors Islamist websites, said it appeared to be the voice of bin Laden.
US President Barack Obama said bin Laden's decision to claim the attempted plane attack on December 25 showed the Al-Qaeda leader had been "weakened."
The State Department said bin Laden was seeking "glory" by taking credit for incidents around the world.
"Bin Laden has been trying to put his fingerprints on just about everything that's happened for years," said Daniel Benjamin, the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism.
Bin Laden has a 50-million-dollar bounty on his head and has been in hiding for the past eight years. He is widely believed to be holed up along the remote mountainous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
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