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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- An audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden exhorts Muslims to rise up against Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other governments it claims are "agents of America," and calls for suicide attacks against U.S. and British interests to "avenge the innocent children" of Iraq.
The 27-minute tape quotes extensively from the Muslim holy book, the Quran, and says jihad, or holy war, is the "only solution to all the problems."
The tape was obtained Monday by The Associated Press from an Algerian national, known as Aadil, who said he had slipped across the border from Afghanistan, where the tape was apparently recorded.
There was no way immediately to confirm that the voice on the tape was that of the al-Qaida chief. But it was translated by an Arabic-speaking Afghan who met with the terrorist mastermind years ago and said he believed the voice seemed to be bin Laden's.
There also was no clear indication of when the tape was made, although it makes references to the war in Iraq and the leaders who launched it, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
"You should avenge the innocent children who have been assassinated in Iraq. Be united against Bush and Blair and defeat them with suicide attacks so that you may be successful before Allah," the voice urges.
"Oh Muslim brothers, let us promise to devote our lives to martyrdom in the way of Allah. America has attacked Iraq and soon will also attack Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Sudan. You should be aware that non-Muslims cannot bear the existence of Muslims and want to capture their resources and destroy them."
The voice purported to be bin Laden's urges the faithful to attack governments in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
"All of them have been imposed upon you and jihad (holy war) against them is your duty," says the tape, handed to AP in the remote northwestern region of Pakistan.
The only other individual identified by name on the tape was Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai. "One of the slaves of America is Karzai in Afghanistan because he supported non-Muslims over Muslims. Pakistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi are also agents of America."
Bin Laden, the top suspect behind the Sept. 11 attacks, has been in hiding since a U.S.-led coalition ousted the Taliban regime that gave him protection in Afghanistan. He is believed to cross back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
After the capture last month of his top lieutenant, Khaled Shaikh Mohammed, near Islamabad, Pakistani authorities said they were closing in on the elusive terrorist.
The messenger, Aadil, has an association with bin Laden dating back to the 1980s invasion of Afghanistan by the former Soviet Union.
Aadil worked in the Pakistani city of Peshawar with Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian, who together with bin Laden founded Makhtab al Khidmat, the organization that recruited Middle Eastern fighters to Afghanistan.
Aadil said he was in Pakistan to locate two colleagues who were arrested last week in Peshawar after FBI agents intercepted calls made from a cell phone.
The cassette tape makes repeated promises of heaven for those who carried out suicide attacks. "I ask the Muslim women to join jihad by providing food to mujahedeen (holy warriors.) Elders should pray for us. I am proud of those martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Islam."
"Do not be afraid of their tanks and armored personnel carriers. These are artificial things," the voice says. "If you started suicide attacks you will see the fear of Americans all over the world. Those people who cannot join forces in jihad should give financial help to those mujahedeen who are fighting against U.S. aggression."
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)