ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A new cassette tape purported to be from Osama bin Laden urges suicide attacks and calls on Muslims to rise up against Arab governments that support the attack on Iraq.
In the audio tape, bin Laden’s supposed voice urges the faithful to attack the governments of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Unlike previous such tapes, this one had a single theme – suicide attacks.
“All of them have been imposed upon you and jihad (holy war) against them is your duty,” the Arabic language tape received Monday in remote northwestern Pakistan said.
The tape was obtained by The Associated Press from an Algerian national, identified only as Aadil, who said he had slipped across the border from Afghanistan, where the bin Laden tape was apparently recorded.
There was no way to independently confirm that the voice on the tape was that of bin Laden, but it was translated by an Arabic speaking Afghan who met with the terrorist mastermind years ago and who said the voice appeared to be his.
There was also no clear indication of when the tape was made, but from the message it appeared to have been after the outbreak of war in Iraq.
“The United States has attacked Iraq and soon he will also attack Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Sudan. The attacks in Saudi Arabia and Egypt will be against Islamic movements there,” said the tape.
Aadil was in Pakistan to locate his two colleagues arrested last week in northwest Peshawar at the foot of the Khyber Pass that links Pakistan and Afghanistan. The men were arrested after FBI agents intercepted calls made from a cell phone.
The two men were wanted for the slaying of a Pakistani intelligence officer a month earlier in the border town of Wana, 180 miles south of Peshawar.
The tape delivered by Aadil concentrated mostly on jihad, condemning Muslim governments who have supported the U.S.-led coalition’s war on Iraq and the global war that has targeted bin Laden.
Peppered with verses from the Muslim holy book, the Quran, the cassette tape made 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.”
The tape warned that Islamic movements and governments throughout the Muslim world are under attack.
Bin Laden was given sanctuary in Sudan until 1996 when he fled to Afghanistan, welcomed there during the rule of the western-backed government of Burhanuddin Rabbani. Rabbani’s feuding government was later ousted by the Taliban religious movement.
Bin Laden stayed on in Afghanistan, forged close ties with the Taliban leadership, which refused to hand him over to the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The Taliban’s refusal resulted in the assault on Afghanistan in October 2001.
“Do not be afraid of their tanks and armored personnel carriers. These are artificial things,” he said. “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.”