Al-Qaeda leader admits mistakes were made in Iraq by the mujahidin.
The recording was aired as Iraq‘s government reported violence had dropped by 70 per cent since the end of June, following a series of US-led offensives.
|Al Jazeera exclusive|
Iraq’s wing of al-Qaeda is one of the groups fighting US-led forces and the Baghdad government, but bin Laden’s followers have angered other Sunni groups and tribes through their interpretations of Islam and indiscriminate killing of civilians.
“The mujahidin are the children of this nation … they do right things and wrong things,” bin Laden said. “Those who are accused of violations of God’s commandments should face trial,” bin Laden said.
In the recording, bin Laden mentioned battles in the province of Diyala, indicating that he made the remarks since the start of a US offensive there in June.
He said he was addressing “mujahidin [holy warriors] in Iraq“, Sunni Muslim groups fighting US-led forces.
Last month, bin Laden issued three messages, including a video marking the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington in which about 3,000 people were killed.
Bin Laden said in the video that the United States was vulnerable despite its power and insisted only conversion to Islam would end the conflict.