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Sunday, 14 October, 2001, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Kuwait disowns Bin Laden aide
Al-Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith
Abu Ghaith made videotaped statements for al-Qaeda
Kuwait has stripped the official spokesman for Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network of his citizenship, citing "national interest".

"In the national interest and according to Article 14 of the 1959 nationality law, the council (of ministers) has approved a proposed decree to withdraw Sulaiman Abu Ghaith's nationality," Kuwait's cabinet said in a statement.

Al-Qaeda organisation orders the Americans and the infidels... to leave the Arabian Peninsula

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith
The Gulf Arab state made the decision after Mr Abu Ghaith emerged as a close aide to Bin Laden, the prime suspect in the 11 September attacks on the US. Saudi Arabia stripped Bin Laden of his citizenship in 1994.

In his latest televised statement, broadcast on the Qatar-based satellite TV station al-Jazeera, Mr Abu Ghaith said al-Qaeda would hit back against the United States and the United Kingdom in retaliation for the air strikes on Afghanistan.

Kuwait has echoed the British Government's reaction to the statement, saying it was a clear admission of responsibility for last month's suicide attacks on the United States.

And the White House has dismissed it as "just more propaganda".

Brother detained

The AFP news agency quotes sources as saying that security authorities have detained Mr Abu Ghaith's 34-year-old brother, Mohammad, for questioning.

The sources said Mohammad Abu Ghaith has had power of attorney to handle his brother's finances over the past few years.

Acquaintances of Mr Abu Ghaith recently told AFP that he was last in Kuwait some six weeks ago.

According to the Reuters news agency, Mr Abu Ghaith became famous in Kuwait during the Iraqi occupation, when he gave strong sermons, daring the government to attack Baghdad.

He was banned from preaching in Kuwait after the country's liberation, because his sermons had turned against the government, the constitution and other Arab states.

Kuwait has said that the Taleban gave some Arab fighters in Afghanistan, including Mr Abu Ghaith, a 36-year-old father of six, Afghan citizenship.

The Kuwaiti Government supports the military operation against Bin Laden and the Taleban, who are hiding him in Afghanistan.

Al-Qaeda's warnings

In his last videotaped statement, apparently recorded on Thursday, Mr Abu Ghaith warned Muslims in the US and UK not to travel by plane or live in skyscrapers - a clear reference to the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington.

He also told non-Muslims to leave the Arabian peninsula, and issued specific threats against US President George W Bush and his two predecessors, as well as UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"Al-Qaeda organisation orders the Americans and the infidels in the Arabian Peninsula, particularly the Americans and the British, to leave the Arabian Peninsula," Mr Abu Ghaith said.

"If the mothers of these need their sons, then they should ask them to leave the Arabian peninsula, because the land will be set on fire under their feet, God willing."

He continued: "The storms will not calm, especially the aircraft storm.

"These storms will not calm until you retreat in defeat in Afghanistan, stop your assistance to the Jews in Palestine, end the siege imposed on the Iraqi people, leave the Arabian peninsula, and stop your support for the Hindus against the Muslims in Kashmir."

See also:

14 Oct 01 | Middle East
In full: Al-Qaeda statement
13 Oct 01 | UK
Bin Laden's son defiant
10 Oct 01 | South Asia
Al-Qaeda threatens fresh terror attacks
07 Oct 01 | South Asia
Bin Laden defiant
10 Oct 01 | Middle East
TV station defends Bin Laden coverage
18 Sep 01 | South Asia
Who is Osama Bin Laden?
14 Oct 01 | Americas
Knives hidden on Air Canada plane
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