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Purported Bin Laden Tape Asks Muslims to Support Iraq - 2003-02-12

A tape purportedly recorded by al-Qaida terror leader Osama bin Laden was broadcast Tuesday night on the al-Jazeera Arab satellite station. The man on the tape called for Muslims to support Iraq in the event of war with the United States.

An audio tape that al-Jazeera Arab says it assumes was made by al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, called for suicide attacks against the United States. It also urged Iraqis to dig trenches and engage in urban warfare to battle U.S. troops and warned Arab leaders against giving any support to a war against Iraq.

In Washington, Secretary of State Colin Powell said the message shows a link between Osama bin Laden's terrorist network and Iraq.

The voice on the tape broadcast Tuesday night, said "we are following with great concern the preparation of the crusaders to launch war on the former capital of Muslims and install a puppet government."

The man says the United States is terrified of urban fighting and advises Iraqis of the importance to draw the enemy into "long, close and tiring fighting, taking advantage of camouflaged positions in plains, farms, mountains and cities."

He warned against those who would assist the United States in a battle against Iraq saying it would be an attack against Muslims.

He called on Muslims to rise up, "incite and mobilize the nation...and break free from," what he said was "the regimes that are slaves of America." He mentioned Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

While the voice on the tape did not express support for Saddam Hussein, it said Muslims should support the Iraqi people rather than the Iraqi government.

Al-Jazeera has often aired audio tapes and statements it says came from Osama bin Laden, whose terrorist network is blamed for the September 11, 2001, attacks against New York and Washington.