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Bin Laden Releases Second Flood Message

After six months of silence, Osama bin Laden is believed to have released a recording on the Pakistani floods for the second time in the space of 24 hours. Straying from his usual denunciation of the West, the al Qaeda leader called out Muslim nations for not doing enough to help Pakistan and accused the media of not covering the floods adequately. On Friday, he had urged Muslim countries to form an international relief body to help each other in the wake of natural disasters. According to one former American intelligence official and al Qaeda analyst, bin Laden’s more compassionate message—at least toward other Muslims—is part of an effort “to counteract his loss of support among people who have come to perceive him as an uncaring terrorist who has no hesitation about spilling the blood even of fellow Muslims.”