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Bin laden calls war crusader zionist alliance

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Full text of Osama bin Laden's latest statement is posted on Internet
02:32 PM EST Dec 28

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - The full text of Osama bin Laden's latest message was posted on the web Tuesday, a day after Al-Jazeera broadcast a small part of an hour-long audiotape in which the al-Qaida chief called on Muslims to boycott both the upcoming Iraqi and Palestinian elections.

The speaker, identified with "moderate confidence" as bin Laden by the CIA on Tuesday, accused Iraq's interim government, the newly elected government of Afghanistan and the Palestinian administration under Mahmoud Abbas of siding with the United States against Muslims and called on Muslims to oppose them as a matter of faith.

He called for boycotts of the Iraqi and Palestinian elections, both coming up in January.

Iraqis are scheduled to elect a 275-member National Assembly, which will write a new constitution, on Jan. 30. There have been calls to postpone the election, but U.S. President George W. Bush has insisted the vote be held as scheduled.

Palestinians are to elect a president on Jan. 9, following the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

The speaker said the Iraqi elections were being held under un-Islamic, U.S.-imposed rules.

"All that we noted about Iraq applies to Palestine," bin Laden said. "The country is under occupation, and the state constitution is manmade ... of which Islam is innocent, and the candidate Mahmoud Abbas is an infidel agent, who was brought in after he wasted, with his companions, 10 years of the time of the Muslims in Palestine," following the peace agreement with Israel.

The posting, as text and audio on a site known as a clearing house for militant Muslim statements, included a note that it was produced and transcribed by al-Sahab Media Production House, a shadowy entity linked to other al-Qaida statements, including a video containing testimonies of some of the 19 hijackers who took part in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

The new audio included praise for fighters in Fallujah, west of Baghdad, comparing them to the 19 hijackers.

The statement, peppered with Islamic verses and poems as is customary of bin Laden messages, urged Muslims around the world to take note that the most "pressing issue" of the day is the "third world war" waged by the "Crusader Zionist alliance" against Muslims. It said the main battleground was in Iraq, which it said had not been al-Qaida territory before the U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Muslims today have "a very rare and precious opportunity to get out of dependency and slavery to the West," bin Laden said, adding that the "enemy" has come "to our territories."

The speaker urged monetary contributions, acknowledging that it could be difficult for Arab fighters to reach the Palestinian territories. He suggested striking at America might prove easier.

"The means and ways to strike the Americans, the allies of the Jews, are available, including jihad in Iraq according to trusted guides, and also through killing them and their allies, and striking at their interests around the world," he said.

The speaker also said a wife of his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, had been killed in Afghanistan, along with her daughter and their only son. He didn't say when, but blamed the Americans.

It was the first time though the group acknowledged the deaths.

Al-Zawahri's wife and three daughters were believed killed by U.S. bombs during Afghan fighting. He is said to have later married the two widows of a senior al-Qaida leader also killed in Afghanistan.

The Canadian Press, 2004

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