August 25, 2005

Usamah Bin Ladin - Wounded in Action?

Translation of an August 24 post on an Al-Qa'idah-related website:

Shaykh Usamah personally participated in the attack on a Spanish base in Afghanistan - Urgent!

One of the brothers in the Al-Qa'idah organization in Afghanistan said Shaykh Usamah personally participated in the "Khalud" raid against the international crusader occupation. The operation took place when a group of mujahidin officially headed by Shaykh Abu 'Abdallah [Usamah Bin Ladin] attacked a Spanish crusader base. Five of the mujahidin were martyred, and sources indicated that the shaykh was slightly wounded, as God knows. The mujahidin announced that they killed 23 Spanish soldiers after abducting them, some of whom were officers. The brothers, thanks be to God, also downed a helicopter of the occupiers with 17 soldiers onboard, thanks be to God.

God is great
Sahab association for media productions



A Spanish helicopter carrying 17 soldiers crashed in Afghanistan on August 16. However, there is no indication of hostile fire, although that cannot be ruled out. As for the claimed attack on a Spanish base, none of this rings true. There are about 350 Spanish soldiers in Afghanistan involved in a reconstruction project near the western city of Herat. The thought that Usamah Bin Ladin, thought to be in frail health, crossed the entire country of Afghanistan from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border are where he is believed to be hiding, and personally led an assault on a Spanish base seems a bit far-fetched.

I suspect this is an attempt to provide a morale booster to the Al-Qa'idah fighters who are being hunted down by American and Afghan troops.

From the NBC Nightly News blog ("The Daily Nightly"):
One, Rick Francona, who had served as military attaché in Baghdad, Dubai and Damascus — and could read the post in its original Arabic — suggested this was “psyops” to improve morale in Afghanistan.

Rick noted that Taliban and al-Qaida forces are on the offensive right now and that nothing would help morale better than reports that their leader “the sheikh” was back in Afghanistan, back in command of operations and putting his own life on the line.