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Osama bin Laden appeared for the first time in three years in a new videotape Friday released ahead of the 6th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, telling Americans they should convert to Islam if they want the war in Iraq to end, according to a transcript of the video by ABC News.
The videotape, which ABC said was 30 minutes long, appeared to have been recently made, since bin Laden refers to the Democratic victory in Congress and to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was elected in May.
Bin Laden made no overt threats and did not directly call for attacks, according to a transcript posted by ABC News on its Web site. Instead, he addresses Americans, giving them a lecture on the failures of their leaders to stop the war in Iraq despite growing opposition to it in the US public.
The video appears to be genuine, top CIA officials said.
US President George W. Bush said Saturday that bin Laden's video appearance is a reminder of "the dangerous world in which we live."