(Reuters) - Osama bin Laden urges insurgents in Iraq to unite with his al Qaeda followers and admits wrongs were committed because of fanaticism, according to an audio recording aired on Monday.
Following is a chronology of major statements attributed to Osama bin Laden, his second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri or their allies this year. More than 50 messages have been broadcast since Al Jazeera aired a statement by bin Laden following the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Jan 22 - Zawahri mocks U.S. President George W. Bush’s plan to send more troops to Iraq.
Feb 13 - Zawahri says Bush’s troop build-up in Iraq is a gamble bound to fail. He vows reprisals against Arab and Muslim countries that supported the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
May 23 - Zawahri eulogizes Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah, killed in Afghanistan earlier in the month, and urges his followers to pursue his fight against U.S.-led forces.
June 25 - Zawahri urges all Muslims to support Islamist group Hamas in its battles with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel, which he said was planning to invade Gaza. He also criticized Hamas for taking part in 2006 elections.
July 4 - Zawahri talks about unity in jihad and calls for the overthrow of “corrupt” Muslim governments in a new video. He also talks about the corruption of the Saudi Arabian royal family and condemns Palestinian concessions to Israel.
July 10 - Zawahri threatens more attacks on Britain two weeks after failed bombings in London and Glasgow.
Sept 7 - Bin Laden appears in a videotape marking the sixth anniversary of 9/11. Bin Laden says the United States is vulnerable despite its economic and military power.
Sept 11 - Bin Laden eulogizes a 9/11 hijacker. In the 47-minute videotape released by al Qaeda’s media arm As-Sahab, what appeared to be bin Laden’s voice can be heard over a still image of him, praising hijacker Waleed al-Shehri.
Sept 20 - Bin Laden vows to retaliate against Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf for the killing of a rebel cleric and a raid on his mosque. Al Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri, in a video, calls on Muslims to fight the U.S. and its allies and praises the operations of Islamist militants.
Oct 21 - Bin Laden acknowledges in an audiotape addressing “mujahideen (holy warriors) in Iraq”, that some insurgents were involved in “wrongdoings”. He urges “scholars, jihadist and tribal leaders to work for reconciliation between fighting groups”.