U.S. Officials: Osama's Latest Message Not Very Scary

U.S. officials do not appear to be particularly alarmed by the latest audio message from Osama bin Laden─"From Osama to Obama," as the fugitive Al Qaeda leader described it. In the message, which surfaced over the weekend, bin Laden praised the Christmas Day underpants attempted airplane attack allegedly perpetrated by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Bin Laden also threatened future attacks against the U.S. in reprisal for its support of Israel.

But the U.S. officials said that there was no evidence to link bin Laden to Abdulmutallab, and discounted assertions by some analysts that bin Laden's message somehow contains signals that one or more attack was likely to follow. Officials also strongly discounted the possibility that terrorism caused the crash on Sunday of an Ethopian Airlines flight shortly after it took off from Beirut.