Bin Laden urges jihad, slams Arab leaders 
            Publish Date: Thursday,15 January, 2009, at 02:31 AM Doha Time 
            Bin Laden . new message 

      DUBAI: Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden called on Muslims to rise in a 
jihad (holy struggle) against the Israeli offensive in Gaza and accused Arab 
leaders of collusion with Israel, in an audio tape issued yesterday. 

      The Saudi-born militant said the global financial crisis had exposed the 
waning US influence in world affairs and would in turn weaken its ally Israel. 

      "Our brothers in Palestine, you have suffered a lot.... the Muslims 
sympathise with you in what they see and hear. We, the mujahideen, sympathise 
with you also..." bin Laden said on the tape entitled 'A Call for Jihad to Stop 
the Aggression against Gaza', that appeared on Islamist websites. 

      "We are with you and we will not let you down. Our fate is tied to yours 
in fighting the Crusader-Zionist (Western-Israeli) coalition, in fighting until 
victory or martyrdom." 

      He called on Muslims to rise in support of Gazans and not to rely on Arab 
leaders "the great majority of whom are allied with the Crusader-Zionist 

      In Washington, the White House said the tape, in which bin Laden also 
appealed to Muslims to donate money to militants in a "financial jihad", showed 
his isolation. 

      "It appears this tape demonstrates his isolation and continued attempts 
to remain relevant at a time when Al Qaeda's ideology, mission and agenda are 
being questioned and challenged throughout the world," White House spokesman 
Gordon Johndroe said. 
      "This also looks to be an effort to raise money as part of their ongoing 
propaganda campaign," he said. 

      In the 22-minute tape, bin Laden said the US was losing its dominant 
position in the world and that this was due to Al Qaeda's campaign. 

      "The jihad of your sons against the Crusader-Zionist coalition is one of 
the key reasons for these destructive effects among our enemies," bin Laden 
said. "God has bestowed us with the patience to continue the path of jihad for 
another seven years, and seven and seven... The question is, can America 
continue its war with us for several more decades to come? Reports and evidence 
would suggest otherwise." 
      Bin Laden was last heard on an audio tape in May 2008 when he also 
focused on Gaza, calling on Muslims to try to help end the blockade of the 
      He has placed growing emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 
recent years and yesterday's audio tape was accompanied by a still picture of 
bin Laden and an image of Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, Islam's third holiest 
      Al Qaeda, the network behind the September 11, 2001 attacks on US cities, 
has regularly called for attacks on Israel. 
      It was widely blamed for a 2002 suicide attack on an Israeli-owned hotel 
in Kenya and a simultaneous failed attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter jet 
near Mombasa airport. - Reuters



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