Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden blamed the United States and developed countries for not halting climate change and said the global economy should immediately abandon its reliance on the American dollar, according to an audiotape released Friday by the broadcaster Al-Jazeera.
"Talk about climate change is not an ideological luxury but a reality," bin Laden was quoted as saying in a report on Al-Jazeera's English-language Web site. "All of the industrialized countries, especially the big ones, bear responsibility for the global warming crisis."
The authenticity of the tape could not be immediately confirmed, and Al-Jazeera, which is based in Qatar, did not say how it had obtained the message.
In the message, bin Laden veered away from his traditional vows to inflict death and destruction on the United States and instead discussed climate change, globalization and monetary policy in a message that he said was directed to "the whole world."
He called for a worldwide boycott of American goods and the dollar. He faulted the United States for failing to sign the Kyoto Protocol, which sought to curb global warming by restricting greenhouse gas emissions. And he offered a word of praise for Noam Chomsky, the American linguist and liberal political activist.
"Noam Chomsky was correct when he compared the U.S. policies to those of the Mafia," Al-Jazeera quoted bin Laden as saying. "They are the true terrorists, and therefore we should refrain from dealing in the U.S. dollar and should try to get rid of this currency as early as possible."