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Muslim Clerics Recommend bin Laden Leave Afghanistan - 2001-09-20


Islamic clerics from Taleban-controlled areas in Afghanistan have recommended to Taleban authorities that they tell alleged terrorist Osama Bin Laden that if possible, at some time in the future, he leave the country voluntarily.

About 1,000 clerics ended a two day "shura" or council meeting in Kabul on Thursday by issuing an edict on the alleged involvement of Osama Bin Laden in the terror attacks in the United States.

The edict says that in order to resolve the crisis, Taleban authorities should try to persuade Osama Bin Laden to leave the country - voluntarily. The order calls on Taleban authorities to try and persuade him to find a new home outside Afghanistan.

A spokesman, for the council, Amir Khan Muttaqui, told VOA on Thursday, the edict also urges the United States not to attack Afghanistan before a thorough investigation is completed into who carried out the terrorist attacks.

Referring to any possible military action against Afghanistan, Mr. Khan says the edict requires a "jihad" or holy war be declared if a Muslim nation is attacked by what he describes "infidels." He also says the edict requires that if an attack takes place, Muslims across the world are bound to come forward to aid any nation attacked by "infidels."

U.S. officials say they believe Osama Bin Laden is the mastermind behind last week's attacks that killed more than 5,000 people. Both the Taleban and Osama Bin Laden deny the allegation. U.S. officials have said in recent days, they want action and not words, saying that Taleban authorities have been told for the past two years that Osama Bin Laden needs to be expelled from Afghanistan to a country where he can be brought to justice.

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