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Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 00:56 GMT
Bin Laden tape: Text
Osama Bin Laden
US officials say they believe the tape is real
The following is the full text of an audio message purported to be by al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, broadcast on Arab television station al-Jazeera on 11 February.

In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate.

A message to our Muslim brothers in Iraq, may God's peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you.

O you who believe fear Allah, by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden as He should be feared.

Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always, and die not except in a state of Islam [as Muslims] with complete submission to Allah.

We are following up with great interest and extreme concern the crusaders' preparations for war to occupy a former capital of Islam, loot Muslims' wealth, and install an agent government, which would be a satellite for its masters in Washington and Tel Aviv, just like all the other treasonous and agent Arab governments.

This would be in preparation for establishing the Greater Israel.

Allah is sufficient for us and He is the best disposer of affairs.

'Unjust war'

Amid this unjust war, the war of infidels and debauchees led by America along with its allies and agents, we would like to stress a number of important values:

First, showing good intentions. This means fighting should be for the sake of the one God.

It should not be for championing ethnic groups, or for championing the non-Islamic regimes in all Arab countries, including Iraq.

God Almighty says: "Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil."

So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.

Second, we remind that victory comes only from God and all we have to do is prepare and motivate for jihad.

God Almighty says: "Oh ye who believe! If ye will help the cause of Allah, He will help you and plant your feet firmly."

We must rush to seek God Almighty's forgiveness from sins, particularly the grave sins.

Prophet Muhammad, God's peace be upon him, said: "Avoid the seven grave sins; polytheism, sorcery, killing, unless permitted by God, usury, taking the money of orphans, fleeing from combat, and slandering innocent faithful women."

Also, all grave sins, such as consuming alcohol, committing adultery, disobeying parents, and committing perjury. We must obey God in general, and should in particular mention the name of God more before combat.

'Media machine'

Abu-al-Darda, may God be pleased with him, said: "Perform a good deed before an attack, because you are fighting with your deeds."

Third, we realized from our defence and fighting against the American enemy that, in combat, they mainly depend on psychological warfare.

This is in light of the huge media machine they have.

They also depend on massive air strikes so as to conceal their most prominent point of weakness, which is the fear, cowardliness, and the absence of combat spirit among US soldiers.

Those soldiers are completely convinced of the injustice and lying of their government.

They also lack a fair cause to defend. They only fight for capitalists, usury takers, and the merchants of arms and oil, including the gang of crime at the White House.

This is in addition to crusader and personal grudges by Bush the father.

Trench warfare

We also realized that one of the most effective and available methods of rendering the air force of the crusader enemy ineffective is by setting up roofed and disguised trenches in large numbers.

I had referred to that in a previous statement during the Tora Bora battle last year.

In that great battle, faith triumphed over all the materialistic forces of the people of evil, for principles were adhered to, thanks to God Almighty.

I will narrate to you part of that great battle, to show how cowardly they are on the one hand, and how effective trenches are in exhausting them on the other.

We were about 300 mujahideen [Islamic militants].We dug 100 trenches that were spread in an area that does not exceed one square mile, one trench for every three brothers, so as to avoid the huge human losses resulting from the bombardment.

Since the first hour of the US campaign on 20 Rajab 1422, corresponding to 7 October 2001, our centres were exposed to a concentrated bombardment.

And this bombardment continued until mid-Ramadan.

On 17 Ramadan, a very fierce bombardment began, particularly after the US command was certain that some of al-Qaeda leaders were still in Tora Bora, including the humble servant to God [referring to himself] and the brother mujahid Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The bombardment was round-the-clock and the warplanes continued to fly over us day and night.

War in Afghanistan

The US Pentagon, together with its allies, worked full time on blowing up and destroying this small spot, as well as on removing it entirely.

Planes poured their lava on us, particularly after accomplishing their main missions in Afghanistan.

The US forces attacked us with smart bombs, bombs that weigh thousands of pounds, cluster bombs, and bunker busters.

Bombers, like the B-52, used to fly over head for more than two hours and drop between 20 to 30 bombs at a time.

The modified C-130 aircraft kept carpet-bombing us at night, using modern types of bombs.

The US forces dared not break into our positions, despite the unprecedented massive bombing and terrible propaganda targeting this completely besieged small area.

This is in addition to the forces of hypocrites, whom they prodded to fight us for 15 days non-stop.

Every time the latter attacked us, we forced them out of our area carrying their dead and wounded.

'Alliance of evil'

Is there any clearer evidence of their cowardice, fear, and lies regarding their legends about their alleged power.

To sum it up, the battle resulted in the complete failure of the international alliance of evil, with all its forces, [to overcome] a small number of mujahideen - 300 mujahideen hunkered down in trenches spread over an area of one square mile under a temperature of -10 degrees Celsius.

The battle resulted in the injury of 6% of personnel - we hope God will accept them as martyrs - and the damage of two percent of the trenches, praise be to God.

If all the world forces of evil could not achieve their goals on a one square mile of area against a small number of mujahideen with very limited capabilities, how can these evil forces triumph over the Muslim world?

This is impossible, God willing, if people adhere to their religion and insist on jihad for its sake.

Iraqi 'brothers'

O mujahideen brothers in Iraq, do not be afraid of what the United States is propagating in terms of their lies about their power and their smart, laser-guided missiles.

The smart bombs will have no effect worth mentioning in the hills and in the trenches, on plains, and in forests.

They must have apparent targets. The well-camouflaged trenches and targets will not be reached by either the smart or the stupid missiles.

There will only be haphazard strikes that dissipate the enemy ammunition and waste its money. Dig many trenches.

The [early Muslim caliph] Umar, may God be pleased with him, stated: "Take the ground as a shield because this will ensure the exhaustion of all the stored enemy missiles within months."

Their daily production is too little and can be dealt with, God willing.

We also recommend luring the enemy forces into a protracted, close, and exhausting fight, using the camouflaged defensive positions in plains, farms, mountains, and cities.

The enemy fears city and street wars most, a war in which the enemy expects grave human losses.

Martyrdom operations

We stress the importance of the martyrdom operations against the enemy - operations that inflicted harm on the United States and Israel that have been unprecedented in their history, thanks to Almighty God.

We also point out that whoever supported the United States, including the hypocrites of Iraq or the rulers of Arab countries, those who approved their actions and followed them in this crusade war by fighting with them or providing bases and administrative support, or any form of support, even by words, to kill the Muslims in Iraq, should know that they are apostates and outside the community of Muslims.

It is permissible to spill their blood and take their property.

God says: "O 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 [for friendship] is of them.

Verily, Allah guideth not a people unjust.

Mobilizing the 'Islamic nation'

We also stress to honest Muslims that they should move, incite, and mobilize the [Islamic] nation, amid such grave events and hot atmosphere so as to liberate themselves from those unjust and renegade ruling regimes, which are enslaved by the United States.

They should also do so to establish the rule of God on earth.

The most qualified regions for liberation are Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the land of the two holy mosques [Saudi Arabia], and Yemen.

Needless to say, this crusade war is primarily targeted against the people of Islam.

Regardless of the removal or the survival of the socialist party or Saddam, Muslims in general and the Iraqis in particular must brace themselves for jihad against this unjust campaign and acquire ammunition and weapons.

This is a prescribed duty. God says: "[And let them pray with thee] taking all precautions and bearing arms: the unbelievers wish if ye were negligent of your arms and your baggage, to assault you in a single rush."

Fighting in support of the non-Islamic banners is forbidden.

Muslims' doctrine and banner should be clear in fighting for the sake of God. He who fights to raise the word of God will fight for God's sake.

Under these circumstances, there will be no harm if the interests of Muslims converge with the interests of the socialists in the fight against the crusaders, despite our belief in the infidelity of socialists.

The jurisdiction of the socialists and those rulers has fallen a long time ago.

Socialists are infidels wherever they are, whether they are in Baghdad or Aden.

'High morale'

The fighting, which is waging and which will be waged these days, is very much like the fighting of Muslims against the Byzantine in the past.

And the convergence of interests is not detrimental. The Muslims' fighting against the Byzantine converged with the interests of the Persians.

And this was not detrimental to the companions of the prophet.

Before concluding, we reiterate the importance of high morale and caution against false rumours, defeatism, uncertainty, and discouragement.

The prophet said: "Bring good omens and do not discourage people."

He also said: "The voice of Abu-Talhah [one of the prophet's companions] in the army is better than 100 men."

During the Al-Yarmuk Battle, a man told Khalid bin-al-Walid [an Islamic commander]: "The Byzantine soldiers are too many and the Muslims are few."

So, Khalid told him: "Shame on you. Armies do not triumph with large numbers but are defeated if the spirit of defeatism prevails."

Keep this saying before your eyes: "It is not fitting for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he hath thoroughly subdued the land."

"Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks."

Your wish to the crusaders should be as came in this verse of poetry: "The only language between you and us is the sword that will strike your necks."

In the end, I advise myself and you to fear God covertly and openly and to be patient in the jihad.

Victory will be achieved with patience. I also advise myself and you to say more prayers.

O ye who believe! When ye meet a force, be firm, and call Allah in remembrance much (and often); That ye may prosper.

God, who sent the book unto the prophet, who drives the clouds, and who defeated the enemy parties, defeat them and make us victorious over them.

Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and save us from the torment of the Fire! [Koranic verse].

May God's peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad and his household.

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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11 Feb 03 | Americas
07 Feb 03 | Politics
05 Feb 03 | Middle East
14 Nov 02 | Middle East
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