Bin Laden Tape Seen as Attempt To Swing Election

The Associated Press has a roundup of international reaction to yesterday’s bin Laden tape, which apparently was genuine:

[I]nternational experts said the message was a clear attempt to influence the U.S. presidential election.
Around the world, observers debated what impact the dramatically timed message would have on the U.S. election, just days away.
Many saw the tape – in which the al-Qaida leader warned Americans not to “mess” with the security of Muslims – as an attempt to influence Tuesday’s presidential vote.
On Web sites devoted to extremist Muslim comment, contributors reacted with glee to the tape, saying it was proof bin Laden was alive and was a “slap” at America.
Paul Wilkinson, chairman of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St. Andrews University in Scotland, called the tape “a very crude but sinister attempt to try to influence the presidential election.”
Montasser el-Zayat, a Cairo-based lawyer who defends Islamic radicals, said the video amounted to an “unprecedented attack on Bush at a very critical time, before the U.S. elections.”
Diaa Rashwan, a Cairo-based expert on extremist Muslim militants, said bin Laden was trying to influence Americans “to give Kerry their votes, not Bush.”

Let’s hope Americans see it the same way.

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