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Archive for Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Tape purportedly from bin Laden urges suicide attacks

April 9, 2003

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— An audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden exhorts Muslims to rise up against Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other governments it claims are "agents of America," and calls for suicide attacks against U.S. and British interests to "avenge the innocent children" of Iraq.

The 27-minute tape quotes extensively from the Muslim holy book, the Quran, and says jihad, or holy war, is the "only solution to all the problems."

There was no way immediately to confirm that the voice on the tape was that of the al-Qaida chief. But it was translated by an Arabic-speaking Afghan who met with the terrorist mastermind years ago and said he believed the voice seemed to be bin Laden's.

There also was no clear indication of when the tape was made, although it makes references to the war in Iraq and the leaders who launched it, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"You should avenge the innocent children who have been assassinated in Iraq. Be united against Bush and Blair and defeat them with suicide attacks so that you may be successful before Allah," the voice urges.

"Oh Muslim brothers, let us promise to devote our lives to martyrdom in the way of Allah. America has attacked Iraq and soon will also attack Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Sudan. You should be aware that non-Muslims cannot bear the existence of Muslims and want to capture their resources and destroy them."

The voice purported to be bin Laden's urges the faithful to attack governments in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

"All of them have been imposed upon you and jihad (holy war) against them is your duty," says the tape, given to The Associated Press in Pakistan.

The only other individual identified by name on the tape was Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai. "One of the slaves of America is Karzai in Afghanistan because he supported non-Muslims over Muslims. Pakistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi are also agents of America."

Bin Laden, the top suspect behind the Sept. 11 attacks, has been in hiding since a U.S.-led coalition ousted the Taliban regime that gave him protection in Afghanistan. He is believed to cross back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The cassette tape makes repeated promises of heaven for those who carried out suicide attacks. "I ask the Muslim women to join jihad by providing food to mujahedeen (holy warriors.) Elders should pray for us. I am proud of those martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Islam.

"Do not be afraid of their tanks and armored personnel carriers. These are artificial things. If you started suicide attacks, you will see the fear of Americans all over the world. Those people who cannot join forces in jihad should give financial help to those mujahedeen who are fighting against U.S. aggression."

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