Last audio tapes from Bin Laden hail Arab uprisings
AL-QA'IDA leader Osama bin Laden praised the Arab Spring uprising in a 12-minute audio recording that was made a week before his death, which has now been posted on an Islamist website.
He urged his followers to take advantage of a "rare historic opportunity".
Islamists have played little part in the uprisings, leading analysts to suggest that al-Qa'ida had lost its relevance even before bin Laden was shot dead by US special forces earlier this month.
But in the message, bin Laden tried to wrest the initiative back and hijack the largely secular protest movements.
"The sun of the revolution has risen from the Maghreb," he said during the recording.
"The light of the revolution came from Tunisia.
"It has given the nation tranquillity and made the faces of the people happy."
He advised the revolutionaries to set up "operations rooms" to foment unrest and councils to advise new governments as they take power.
"I believe that the winds of change will envelope the entire Muslim world," the terror network boss added.
"There is a serious crossroads before you, and a great and rare historic opportunity to rise up with the Ummah (Muslim community) and to free yourselves from servitude to the desires of the rules, man-made law, and Western dominance." (© Daily Telegraph, London)