The story

The emergence of a purported statement from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden about U.S. policy in Pakistan as the U.S. president embarks on a major trip to Muslim countries is no coincidence, the White House spokesman and a counterterrorism official say.

"I think the reports we've seen are consistent with messages we've seen in the past from al Qaeda threatening the U.S. and other countries that are involved in counter-terrorism efforts," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Wednesday.

"But I don't think it's surprising that al Qaeda would want to shift attention away from the president's historic efforts and continued efforts to reach out and have an open dialogue with the Muslim world." Read full article »

CNN's Octavia Nasr and Jeanne Meserve contributed to this report.

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