A new audio tape from Osama bin Laden criticizes President Barack Obama for planting seeds of "hatred and vengeance toward Americans" and warns of "new long wars."
The tape, aired on Arabic news network al Jazeera Wednesday, blasts the U.S. president for his role in Pakistan's military operation against Taliban forces in the Swat Valley. The message came as Mr. Obama on the first leg of a Mideast trip to shore up diplomatic relations in the region.
U.S. intelligence officials confirmed the authenticity of tape but said "there's no reason at this point to believe that any specific or credible threat is contained" in the message, reports CBS News White House correspondent Peter Maer.
"There has never been a fake bin Laden tape," a U.S. counterterrorism official told CBS News. "In the past, he has timed the release of the messages to major events. So it's unsurprising that he chose this particular week."
"While the words are different, this latest message recycles many of the broad themes of messages past," the official added.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the tape was an attempt to "shift the attention away" from Mr. Obama's diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, reports Maer.
Gibbs also sought to assure Americans that "everything is being done to protect them and our homeland as we've done since we took office."
CBS News national security analyst Juan Zarate says al Qaeda is losing support.
"This is an opportunity for the president with his star power, with his Muslim family roots, with his embodiment of the American dream, to really chip away at that narrative," Zarate said.
In the message, Bin Laden accuses Mr. Obama of ordering Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to "prevent the people of Swat from implementing the Shari'a law by fighting and killing them through bombings and destruction. This has led one million Muslims, elderly people, women and children, to flee their homes and villages and live in tents after they'd been living with dignity in their homes.
"This simply means that Obama and his administration have planted new seeds of hatred and vengeance toward America," the translated message continues. "The number of these seeds equates that of those who have suffered and been made homeless in the Swat valley and the tribal areas in northern and southern Waziristan as well as those who sympathize with them.
"In this manner, Obama appears to have followed the same path taken by his predecessor, in creating more enmity towards Muslims, and adding on to the fighting enemies, thus paving the way for new long wars.
"Let the American people prepare to continue harvesting what their White House leaders grow, in the years and decades to come." (Read more on CBS News Investigates: Terror Monitor)
Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said it is "ludicrous" to suggest anyone but al Qaeda and the Taliban are responsible for the refugee crisis in Pakistan.
Holbrooke spoke during a joint press conference with Zardari in Islamabad.
Pakistan says about 3 million people have been uprooted from their homes by a month-old campaign to drive militants out of the northwestern Swat valley.
Another senior official suggested Mr. Obama's outreach to Muslims was "very threatening to al Qaeda," reports Maer. The official claimed the terrorist organization is "beginning to lose the propaganda war."
Bin Laden's statement comes a day after al Qaeda's number two, Ayman al Zawahri, said President Obama was not welcomed in Egypt, where he is expected to address Muslims on Thursday.
Bin Laden also implied that the people displaced by the Pakistani offensive would be even more driven to attack America than the 9/11 hijackers.
"I have words that I would like to address to America. Some of the wise and fair people in the research centers and other institutions over there might deduct from what I say here the reasons that push people to want to attack and get their vengeance against America, at a time when the agents of the big companies at the White House don't pay much attention to what we say.
"I say the free men who carried out the attacks of 9/11 did not taste the bitterness of being thrown out of their homes and their land made to live in tents and beg for food. Those 19 only heard that such suffering has been inflicted upon their brethren in Palestine, through American weapons and Zionist hands. They thus left their schools and universities and seized the first opportunity to support the oppressed over there [and] to punish the oppressors in America. So imagine what would they have done if they had witnessed such agony and distress themselves?"