A new Osama bin Laden audio tape is currently airing on al-Jazeera. During the course of January 2002 to 22 December 2003, Osama bin Laden released six audio tapes. All but two of these tapes preceded al-Qaeda attacks by 1-43 days.
Every major al-Qaeda attack during
these two years was preceded by the release of an Osama bin Laden
audio tape with the exception of the attack on the French oil tanker
Limburg off the coast of Yemen and the attack on the synagogue in
Djerba, Tunisia. In the case of the Limburg attack, the tape was
released the following day. It is not clear if this was the intended
release date or if the tape’s release was unintentionally delayed.
The release of Osama bin Laden audio messages appears to be a
significant indicator of near-term attacks. It should not, however,
be presumed that the absence of an Osama bin Laden audio tape equals
the absence of a threat of attack.