November 1, 2004 --
WASHINGTON - Osama bin Laden warned in his October Surprise video that he will be closely monitoring the state-by-state election returns in tomorrow's presidential race — and will spare any state that votes against President Bush from being attacked, according to a new analysis of his statement.
The respected Middle East Media Research Institute, which monitors and translates Arabic media and Internet sites, said initial translations of a key portion of bin Laden's video rant to the American people Friday night missed an ostentatious bid by the Saudi-born terror master to divide American voters and tilt the election towards Democratic challenger John Kerry.
MEMRI said radical Islamist commentators monitored over the Internet this past weekend also interpreted the key passage of bin Laden's diatribe to mean that any U.S. state that votes to elect Bush on Tuesday will be considered an "enemy" and any state that votes for Kerry has "chosen to make peace with us."
The statement in question is when bin Laden said on the tape: "Your security is up to you, and any state that does not toy with our security automatically guarantees its own security."
That sentence followed a lengthy passage in the video in which bin Laden launches personal attacks on the president.
Yigal Carmon, president of MEMRI, said bin Laden used the Arabic term "ay-wilaya" to refer to a "state" in that sentence.
That term "specifically refers to an American state, like Tennessee," Carmon said, adding that if bin Laden were referring to a "country" he would have used the Arabic word "dawla."
MEMRI also translated an analysis of bin Laden's statement from the Islamist Web site al-Qal'a, well known for posting al-Qaeda messages, which agreed that bin Laden's use of the word "ay-wilaya" was meant as a "warning to every U.S state separately."
"It means that any U.S. state that will choose to vote for the white thug Bush as president, it means that it chose to fight us and we will consider it an enemy to us, and any state that will vote against Bush, it means that it chose to make peace with us and we will not characterize it as an enemy," the Web site said, according to MEMRI's translation.