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Purported al-Qaida Tape Urges More Suicide Attacks - 2003-05-21

An audiotape reported to have been made by a top official in the al-Qaida terror network is calling for Muslims to carry out more suicide attacks against Western targets.

The Arab satellite TV channel, al-Jazeera, broadcast the tape, and says it is the voice of Ayman al-Zawahri, who is Osama bin Laden's top deputy.

The tape urges Muslims to attack Westerners and expel them from Islamic holy lands, apparently referring to Iraq and the Arabian peninsula. The tape calls on Muslims to attack embassies and commercial interests of the United States, Britain, Australia and Norway.

There are stepped up security measures in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, following warnings that new terrorist attacks could be imminent. There were deadly attacks in Saudi Arabia and Morocco in the past two weeks.

In the Saudi capital, Riyadh, armed police are patrolling the streets in camouflaged vehicles and concrete barriers have been erected in front of major hotels as part of the effort to counter the increased terror threat.

Saudi authorities report that three Moroccans arrested earlier this week were planning to attack landmarks in the country by using a hijacked airliner.

The United States, Britain, Germany and Italy have all temporarily closed their embassies in Saudi Arabia because of the warnings.