NEW YORK, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Al-Qaida observers are puzzled as to why Osama bin Laden has not issued any statements regarding the upcoming U.S. presidential election, experts say.
By this time in the 2004 election, bin Laden had already issued a video taunting President George Bush and hinting at a new Sept. 11, 2001-style attack, an incident that Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts partly blamed for his loss, The New York Daily News reported Wednesday.
But there has been nothing but silence so far from bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders this time around, counter-terrorism experts noted.
"I don't think (the 2004 video) had the impact they wanted," former Bush counter-terrorism adviser Frances Townsend told the newspaper. "I don't expect we'll see them try to engage the American electorate."
Author Lawrence Wright, however, said: "Al-Qaida would really prefer to have McCain elected," telling the Daily News that "they want to continue to promote the idea of a clash of civilizations. Jihadis are anxious about (Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Barack) Obama because he is a bridging figure."