NEWS

Bin Laden to Address Europeans; UN Says al Qaeda Still Potent

By Matthew Harwood

Osama Bin Laden will release a new message addressed to Europe, says al Qaeda's TV production unit.

The announcement was posted Monday by As-Sahab, al Qaeda's production unit, on a radical Islamist Web site. The message, CNN reports, said:

"Soon, God willing, a new message from the lion Sheik Osama bin Laden, may God protect him, to the Europeans."

CNN.com notes that most media releases from al Qaeda follow the initial announcement by no more than 72 hours afterwards. There was no indication whether the message will be in video or audio format.

In other al Qaeda news, a new United Nations report says the terrorist movement is still a potent enemy of the international community.

According to India's ZeeNews.com:

The report by terrorism experts working for the Security Council committee monitoring UN sanctions against the Taliban and Al-Qaida painted a grim picture of the "persistent and real" threat from both groups whose relationship "appears close."

Since its last report a year ago, the committee said "there may have been fewer major operations than Al-Qaida leaders would have liked, but the arrest or death of suspected Al-Qaida-related terrorists in more than 40 countries around the world suggests a high volume of terrorist planning."

"The frequent and widespread warnings by world leaders and counter-terrorist professionals that more attacks could occur at any time, acknowledge Al-Qaida's spread, its patience and its determination," the report said.

The report also acknowledged al Qaeda's recent propaganda blast over the Internet with the most significant event being Bin Laden's first video address in three years in September. When, or if, Bin Laden's new message goes public, it will be the fourth time in almost as many months al Qaeda has released new messages to its adherents and targets.

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