27 Jan 2010

Al-Qaeda now greatly weakened - Obama

7:36 am on 27 January 2010

United States President Barack Obama says the latest audio tape said to be from Osama bin Laden is an indication of how weak al-Qaeda has become.

In the message broadcast on al-Jazeera TV on Sunday, the speaker praised the attempted bombing of a US airliner en route to Detroit on Christmas Day and warned of further attacks.

The recording was from "Osama to Obama." It described Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, of Nigeria who is charged with attempting to blow up the airliner, as a "hero".

Mr Obama told Good Morning America on ABC TV on Tuesday that the failed attack was not necessarily directed by Osama bin Laden, and that by taking credit for it, he was showing that al-Qaeda is greatly weakened.

Mr Obama also said: "Al-Qaeda itself is greatly weakened from where it was back in 2000.