Al-Qaeda Releases Bin Laden Tape, Picks Leader

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Two weeks after Osama bin Laden's death, al Qaeda has released an audio recording of their leader in which he praises the revolutions sweeping the Middle East and calls for tyrants to be toppled.

Officials believe bin Laden made the tape a week before his death. It's believed to be the same recording U.S. Navy SEALs found when they raided his Pakistan compound May 1.

Speaking beyond the grave, the terror leader congratulated leaders of the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia on their victories

"My Muslim people, we watch closely what is going on in the world today," he said during the 12-minute audio message posted on Islamist websites.

"We rejoice with your rejoicing and your pride," he said.

Meanwhile, officials say they have the names and phone numbers of suspected al Qaeda operatives. The intelligence was retrieved during the May 1 raid, nicknamed "Neptune's Spear."

"They were able to ID some individuals in the 9/11 case because of nicknames," former FBI agent Brad Garrett said.

Law enforcement officials have launched an international manhunt for the terrorist operatives, searching travel records and watching airports and border entry points in the U.S.

"They have to find the people who would actually carry out the plot that bin Laden has dictated to his operatives," ABC News Consultant Stephen Ganyard said.

Authorities say bin Laden wanted to see new attacks inside the U.S. on or before the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

"One of the suggestions is he would do it maybe not on 9/11 but before 9/11," Garrett said. "It may not be a single attack like 9/11 but perhaps multiple attacks coordinated."

According to intelligence officials, bin Laden urged his followers to target not only major cities like New York, but also smaller American cities nationwide.

Al Qaeda operatives were also directed to target trains. as well as airplanes. Agents fear a plot might already be in motion.  

"They tend to work on them for several months and sometimes for several years," Garrett said.

Meanwhile, analysts have speculated that al Qaeda has appointed former Egyptian Army Col. Saif al-Adel as its leader to replace bin Laden. 

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.