In an audio tape broadcast on Aljazeera, Osama bin Laden has warned that al-Qaida is preparing an attack very soon, but also offers Americans a long-term truce.
The voice, attributed to Bin Laden and apparently addressing Americans, said: "The new operations of al-Qaida has not happened not because we could not penetrate the security
measures. It is being prepared and you'll see it in your homeland very soon."
But the voice on the tape, which appeared to be aimed at the American public, also offered a truce: "We do not mind establishing a long-term truce between us and you."
The tape, broadcast by Aljazeera on Thursday evening but dated to December last year, comes after a year of silence from the al-Qaida leader.
"This message is about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how to end those wars," it began.
"It was not my intention to talk to you about this, because those wars are definitely going our way.
"But what triggered my desire to talk to you is the continuous deliberate misinformation given by your President [George] Bush, when it comes to polls made in your home country which reveal that the majority of your people are willing to withdraw US forces from Iraq.
Americans want peace
"We know that the majority of your people want this war to end and opinion polls show the Americans do not want to fight the Muslims on Muslim land, nor do they want Muslims to fight them on their [US] land.
"But Bush does not want this and claims that it is better to fight his enemies on their land rather than on American land.
"Bush tried to ignore the polls that demanded that he end the war in Iraq.
"We are getting increasingly stronger while your situation is getting from bad to worse," he told the US, referring to poor US troop morale and the huge economic losses inflicted by the war.
"The war in Iraq is raging and the operations in Afghanistan are increasing."
"In response to the substance of the polls in the US, which indicate that Americans do not want to fight Muslims on Muslim land, nor do they want Muslims to fight them on their land, we do not mind offering a long-term truce based on just conditions that we will stick to.
"We are a nation that Allah banned from lying and stabbing others in the back, hence both parties of the truce will enjoy stability and security
Iraq and Afghanistan, which were destroyed by war.
"There is no problem in this solution, but it will prevent hundreds of billions from going to influential people and war lords in America - those who supported Bush's electoral campaign - and from this, we can understand Bush and his gang's insistence on continuing the war."
Addressing Americans again, he said: "If your desire for peace, stability and reconciliation was true, here we have given you the answer to your call."
The White House said on Thursday that the US "does not negotiate with terrorists".
Bin Laden, who had not been heard of since a 27 December 2004 audiotape in which he anointed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Iraq's most wanted man, as al-Qaida's leader in Iraq, also said his network was winning the war against the US.
"I would like to tell you that everything is going to our advantage and the number of your dead is increasing, according to Pentagon figures."
Ayman al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden's deputy, said in a September videotape that his leader was still alive and leading the jihad against the West.