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Wednesday, 10 October, 2001, 02:07 GMT 03:07 UK
In full: Al-Qaeda statement
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a spokesman for Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda group, has called on Muslims to join in a holy war against the United States. Below is the full text of the statement:
"We thank Almighty God, who said in his holy book: Ye who believe, take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them is of them. Verily God guideth not a people unjustly.
"May God's peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his companions, and those who followed his course.
"I address this message to the entire Muslim nation to tell them that the confederates have joined forces against the Islamic nation and the Crusader war, promised by Bush, has been launched against Afghanistan and against this people who have faith in God.
"We now live under this Crusader bombardment that targets the entire nation. The Islamic nation should know that we defend a just cause.
"The Islamic nation has been groaning in pain for more than 80 years under the yoke of the joint Jewish-Crusader aggression. Palestine is living under the yoke of the Jewish occupation and its people groan from this repression and persecution while no-one lifts a finger. The Arabian Peninsula is being defiled by the feet of those who came to occupy these lands, usurp these holy places, and plunder these resources.
"The Islamic nation must also know that the US version of terrorism is a kind of deception. Is it logical for the United States and its allies to carry out this repression, persecution, plundering, and bloodletting over these long years without this being called terrorism, while when the victim tries to seek justice, he is described as terrorist?
"This type of deception can never be accepted in any case whatsoever.
"Let the United States know that the Islamic nation will not remain silent after this day on what it is experiencing and what takes place in its land, and that jihad for the sake of God today is an obligation on every Muslim in this land if he has no excuse.
'Steeds of war'
"God Almighty has said: Then fight in God's cause, thou art held responsible only for thyself and rouse the believers. It may be that God will restrain the fury of the unbelievers, for God is the strongest in might and in punishment.
"US interests are spread throughout the world. So, every Muslim should carry out his real role to champion his Islamic nation and religion. Carrying out terrorism against the oppressors is one of the tenets of our religion and Shari'ah.
"Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of God and your enemies.
"I would like to touch on one important point in this address. The actions by these young men who destroyed the United States and launched the storm of planes against it have done a good deed.
"They transferred the battle into the US heartland. Let the United States know that with God's permission, the battle will continue to be waged on its territory until it leaves our lands, stops its support for the Jews, and lifts the unjust embargo on the Iraqi people who have lost more than one million children.
"The Americans should know that the storm of plane attacks will not abate, with God's permission. There are thousands of the Islamic nation's youths who are eager to die just as the Americans are eager to live.
'New phase of enmity'
"They should know that with their invasion of the land of Afghanistan, they have started a new phase of enmity and conflict between us and the forces of infidelity. We are confident that we will achieve victory thanks to our material and moral strength and confidence and faith in Almighty God. The Americans have opened a door which will under no circumstances be shut.
"I address Muslim youths, men, and women and urge them to shoulder their responsibility. They should know that the land of Afghanistan and the mujahidin there are really facing an all-out Crusader war which is aimed at eliminating this group which believes in God and fights on the basis of a creed and religion. Thus, the nation must shoulder its responsibility. It would be a disgrace if the Islamic nation fails to do so.
"Finally, I thank Almighty God who enabled us to engage in this jihad and fight this battle, which is a decisive one between infidelity and faith. I ask Almighty God to grant us victory on our enemy, make their machinations backfire on them, and defeat them.
"May God's peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you."
BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages
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