Bin Laden ‘to release new video’ on 9/11 anniversary

OSAMA bin Laden is to a release a new video on the sixth anniversary of the 11 September attacks on the United States, it was reported last night.

The al-Qaeda figurehead will address his message to the American people, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors fundamentalism on the internet.

A still posted on an Islamist website, shows bin Laden addressing the camera. His beard, which in previous messages had been streaked with grey, was entirely dark and appeared aged.

A message on the webpage said it would soon carry the new bin Laden video to mark the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The site did not say when the video, produced by al-Qaeda’s media arm, al-Sahab, would be issued. Bin Laden was last seen in a video statement aired to coincide with the November 2004 US presidential election. Since then, he has issued several audio messages, the last one in July 2006 in which he vowed al-Qaeda would fight the US anywhere in the world.

Bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, are believed to be hiding in the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan. US-led forces have been searching for bin Laden since toppling Afghanistan’s Taleban government after it refused to hand over the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman last night declined to comment on the report.