Osama bin Laden recording released on al-Jazeera network
WASHINGTON – Osama bin Laden issued new threats against the West and called on his followers to go to Sudan to fight United Nations forces there, in a recording released through the Arab TV network al-Jazeera.
In his first new message in three months, bin Laden said the West’s decision to cut off funds to the Palestinians because their Hamas leaders refuse to recognize Israel proved the U.S. and Europe were conducting “a Zionist crusader war on Islam.”
“The blockade which the West is imposing on the government of Hamas proves that there is a Zionist crusader war on Islam,” he said. “I say that this war is the joint responsibility of the people and the governments. While the war continues, the people renew their allegiance to their rulers and politicians and continue to send their sons to our countries to fight us.”
U.S. intelligence officials here said they had no way to verify the authenticity of the tape but did not dispute that it sounded like bin Laden.
Israel has indicted two West Bank militants for al-Qaida membership and a Palestinian security official has acknowledged al-Qaida is “organizing cells and gathering supporters.”
“I call on mujahedeen and their supporters, especially in Sudan and the Arab peninsula, to prepare for long war again the crusader plunderers in Western Sudan,” said bin Laden. “Our goal is not defending the Khartoum government but to defend Islam, its land and its people. I urge holy warriors to be acquainted with the land and the tribes in Darfur.”
It was the first purported new message from bin Laden since Jan. 19. In that audiotape, he warned that his fighters were preparing new attacks in the United States but offered the American people a “long-term truce” without specifying the conditions.
In the message broadcast Sunday, bin Laden also called for a global Muslim boycott of American goods similar to the recent boycott of Danish products after the publication there of caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.
He also said the artists who drew those offending cartoons should be handed over to him for trial and punishment.
Last Friday, a WND report predicted the imminent release of a new recording by bin Laden through al-Jazeera. That report was based on an interview with Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, who has met with bin Laden.
Mir, who conducted the only post-9/11 interviews with bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, says that he remains in sporadic indirect contact with the elusive emir and other al-Qaida officials.
During one of Mir’s interviews, bin Laden announced that he had managed to acquire nuclear weapons for use in the great jihad against the United States.
“It is not difficult [to obtain tactical nukes],” the al-Qaida chieftain said, “not if you have contacts in Russia with other militant groups. They are available for $10 million and $20 million.”
Just over a month ago, on March 15, Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., told the Philadelphia Inquirer that bin Laden had died of natural causes in Iran. The source for Weldon’s monumental announcement was an Iranian exile with the codename Ali. “Ali,” he said, “told me that Osama bin Laden is dead. He died in Iran.”
Mir’s account of the present whereabouts of the elusive emir confirms a story published by WorldNetDaily Aug. 6, 2005.
Bin Laden, according to Mir, has recently met with Mullah Omar in Afghanistan and will appear on al-Jazeera, the Arab news network, with “a very important message” for the American people within the immediate future.
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