Osama Speaks-Friday "Palestine Cause Fuels War/ Fight Goes On"Submitted by Susan on Fri, 05/16/2008 - 07:53
Bin Laden: Palestinian cause fuels war
By MAGGIE MICHAEL – 1 hour ago
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — Osama bin Laden said in a new audio recording released Friday that al-Qaida will continue its holy war against Israel and its allies until it liberates Palestine.
The terrorist leader's third statement this year came as President Bush was wrapping up his visit to Israel to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Jewish state.
Bin Laden said the fight for the Palestinian cause was the most important factor driving al-Qaida's war with the West and fueled 19 Muslims to carry out the suicide attacks against the U.S. on September 11.
"To Western nations ... this speech is to understand the core reason of the war between our civilization and your civilizations. I mean the Palestinian cause," said bin Laden in the close to 10 minute audiotape.
"The Palestinian cause is the major issue for my (Islamic) nation. It was an important element in fueling me from the beginning and the 19 others with a great motive to fight for those subjected to injustice and the oppressed," added bin Laden.
Al-Qaida has been stepping up its attempts to use the Israeli-Arab conflict to rally supporters. Israel has warned of growing al-Qaida activity in Palestinian territory, though the terror network is not believed to have taken a strong role there so far.
The authenticity of the message could not be verified, but it was posted on a Web site commonly used by al-Qaida and the voice resembled the one in past bin Laden audiotapes. Though it was unknown exactly when the audio was recorded, but it referenced Israel's 60th anniversary, which began May 8.
IntelCenter, a U.S. group that monitors al-Qaida message traffic, said the audio message was accompanied by a photo of bin Laden wearing a white robe and turban next to a picture of the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. It was unclear when the photo of bin Laden was taken.
The al-Qaida leader said the Western media managed to brainwash people over the past 60 years by "portraying the Jewish invaders, the occupiers of our land, as the victims while it portrayed us as the terrorists."
"Sixty years ago, the Israeli state didn't exist. Instead, it was established on the land of Palestine raped by force," said bin Laden. "Israelis are occupying invaders whom we should fight."
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel dismissed bin Laden's new message.
"We do not relate or pay attention to the words of this terrorist lunatic," he said. "The time has come for him to be apprehended and pay for his crimes."
Bin Laden criticized Western leaders like Bush who participated in Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations. Bush feted Israel on Thursday and predicted that its 120th birthday would find it alongside a Palestinian state and in an all-democratic neighborhood free of today's oppression, restrictions on freedom and extremist Muslim movements.