Bin Laden dismisses Obama as 'powerless'

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In a tape released by al-Qa'ida's media wing, terrorist leader Osama bin Laden said President Barack Obama is "powerless" to stop the war in Afghanistan.

Site Intelligence Group, a terrorist-monitoring firm that translated the address, said bin Laden, whose al-Qa'ida organisation was behind the 11 September 2001 attacks, blamed the war on the "pro-Israel lobby" and corporate interests.

IntelCenter, another company that monitors terrorist propaganda, said the 11-minute video shows a still picture of bin Laden while audio of the address plays.

Bin Laden's address to the American people comes two days after the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

He typically addresses the United States in a message around the September 11 anniversary.

The purpose of his address Sunday, Bin Laden said in the Site translation, is "to remind you of the causes" of September 11, chiefly "your support to your Israeli allies who occupy our land of Palestine".

Bin Laden argued against the claims that the war is necessary for US security, saying current White House officials are merely following the strategy of former President George Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney to "promote the previous policies of fear to market the interests of big companies".

When Mr Obama became president and retained many of the Bush administration's military leaders, such as Defence Secretary Robert Gates, "reasonable people knew that Obama is a powerless man who will not be able to end the war as he promised," Bin Laden said.

"If you end the war, so to it," Bin Laden said. "But if it is otherwise, all we will do is continue the war of attrition against you on all possible axes."