Terrorist group al-Qaeda has released an audio recording of
Osama bin Laden, leader of the organization until he was killed by US Special Forces in Pakistan, news reports said Thursday.
In the 12-minute recording, which al-Qaeda said was made a week before his death on May 2, bin Laden expressed support for the recent uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East, broadcaster CNN reported.
He called on al-Qaeda followers to work "in parallel" with the revolutions that are sweeping the region after starting in Tunisia, "to save the people that are struggling to bring down their tyrants."
"The sun of the revolution has risen from the Maghreb," he said. "I think that the winds of change will blow over the entire Muslim world, with permission from Allah."
The revolts in Tunisia led to the president's overthrow in January. Veteran Egyptian leader Hosny Mubarak was also forced from power after weeks of protests in central Cairo, DPA reported.
Uprisings or demonstrations have followed in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria. Protestors have demanded greater political freedom and economic opportunities.
Al-Qaeda, founded by Saudi-born bin Laden around 1988, has campaigned against the secularisation of Muslim-majority countries, and against their cooperation with Western powers.