Bin Laden accuses Arab leaders, urges jihad

DUBAI Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:53pm IST

Osama bin Laden is shown in Afghanistan in this May 26, 1998file photo. REUTERS/Files

Osama bin Laden is shown in Afghanistan in this May 26, 1998file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Files

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden accused conservative Arab leaders of plotting with the West against Muslims and urged his followers to prepare for jihad (holy war), in a recording posted on Islamist websites.

"The hearts of our rulers are like those of the enemies. Whether in Najd (Saudi Arabia) or in Egypt, they never soften, Pharaohs who have returned to humiliate Arabs," he said, reciting a poem honouring Gaza resistance to Israel's offensive.

He also called for the creation of a body of devout clerics to draw up a list warning Muslims about "enemies, hypocrites, their media such as newspapers ... radio stations and satellite channels, of which the most dangerous are the latter two."

The list, he said, should include the British Broadcasting Corporation, U.S.-funded Arabic-language television al-Hurra in Iraq, and the Saudi-funded Al Arabiya channel in Dubai.

Bin Laden described Israel's offensive in Gaza and its attacks on the Palestinian territory as a "holocaust" and said militants wanting to help Gazans should support Iraqis fighting U.S.-led forces and Baghdad's government.

"It is clear that some Arab leaders have plotted with the Zionist-crusader coalition against our (Muslim) people, these (Arab countries) the United States calls the moderate states," bin Laden said.

"We must seriously work and prepare for jihad to enforce the right and abolish the wrong," bin Laden said in the 33-minute audio recording dated March 2009, that was posted on Saturday.

JORDAN

He made a similar call for jihad on January 14.

"The valuable and rare opportunity for those who sincerely want to free (Jerusalem) is to support the mujahideen in Iraq with everything they need to free the country," he said, adding that Jordan would be the next country to be liberated, giving militants access to the West Bank.

The recording entitled "Practical steps to liberate Palestine", in which the speaker's voice sounded like earlier bin Laden messages, was produced by al Qaeda media arm As-Sahab. It was accompanied by an English translation of its text.

"Gaza's holocaust after the long siege is a historic event and tragedy that underlines the need for a separation between Muslims and hypocrites," bin Laden said.

More than 60 messages have been broadcast by bin Laden, his second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri and their allies since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

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