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Osama bin Laden praises Arab Spring in posthumous message

Al-Qaeda has released a posthumous message from Osama bin Laden praising the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia and urging Muslims to take advantage of a “rare historic opportunity” to rise up, according to a US monitoring service.

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The image of Osama bin Laden displayed during the posthumous audio message released by Al-Qaeda's media arm, As-Sahab

“So, what are you waiting for?” he implored listeners. “Save yourselves and your children, because the opportunity is here.”

SITE said an earlier statement by al-Qaeda indicated that bin Laden made an audio recording a week before he was killed by US special forces, addressing the revolutions and offering advice and guidance.

Al-Qaeda, which has long advocated that violence is the only way to overthrow regimes, has been caught offguard by the Arab Spring uprisings which have been triggered by popular concerns over inflation, unemployment and calls for political reform rather than jihadist doctrines.

However, Western officials have warned that the group would try to exploit the wave of unrest that has swept across North Africa and the Middle East.

In the message released Wednesday, bin Laden referred to the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, but made no mention of those in Libya, Syria or Yemen.

“There is a serious crossroads before you, and a great and rare historic opportunity to rise with the Ummah (Muslim community) and to free yourselves from servitude to the desires of the rulers, man-made law, and Western dominance,” he said in the recording, which was posted as a video with a photograph of the al-Qaeda leader.

“It is a great sin and immense ignorance to waste this opportunity that was awaited by the Ummah for long decades. So, take advantage of it and destroy the idols, and establish justice and faith.”

A covert US Navy SEAL team killed bin Laden on May 2 at his Pakistan compound in Abbottabad before burying him at sea.

Filed in: World News

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