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Last Updated: Friday, 7 May, 2004, 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK
'Bin Laden' statement - excerpts
Poster of Osama Bin Laden
'Bin Laden' offers reward in gold

The latest statement purportedly by Osama Bin Laden strongly criticises the US and coalition forces in Iraq and orders a jihad, or holy war, against them.

It says Iraq will never be sovereign while foreign forces remain there - and for the first time offers rewards for the killing of certain US, British and UN officials.

The following are excerpts:

First, there was a dangerous development of great magnitude ... when the occupier [US civil administrator Paul] Bremer announced that he will not accept that Islam be the source of all legislation, meaning that he will not accept Islam as a religion for Iraq. Hence, the announced constitution came according to his will.

This clearly shows on one hand that the [Iraqi] Governing Council is but a puppet and a tool in their hands to implement their plans against an unwary people and on the other hand shows the extent of their hidden hatred against Islam. This also shows that the struggle is an ideological and religious struggle and that the clash is a clash of civilizations. They are keen to destroy Islamic identity in the entire Islamic world. This is their real stand regarding us...

Jihad 'a must'

It has become clear for everyone that the US campaign has nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction or alleviating the suffering of the Iraqi people, but is a blatant occupation in every sense that this word conveys to me, then Jihad is a must for all Muslims in northern, central and southern Iraq...

Whoever supports the infidels against Muslims, who supports the occupation forces and their offshoots, whether an interim or permanent government, would have nullified his Islam ... Jihad becomes the individual duty of Iraqis not only against the crusaders but also against the infidel government and its supporters...

Iraqi sovereignty

The so-called transfer of power to Iraqis is an obvious ploy intended to sedate the people and abort the armed resistance. The sincere Iraqi mujahideen have not fallen for it. Iraq will not be sovereign as long as there is a crusader soldier on its land and as long as it does not depend on Islam in running all its affairs.

Bush ... says the top front for fighting terrorism is Iraq, which clearly means that the top front for fighting Islam is in Iraq. This necessitates intensifying efforts to rally Muslims to confront this onslaught...

We are at a crossroads. ... It is obvious that the great trick being promoted by the United States nowadays under the pretext of forcing the so-called reform on the greater Islamic world is a replica of Bremer's plan for Iraq, which provides for excluding religion, plundering wealth, killing men, terrifying people and transgressing on hurumat [that which is sacrosanct]...

Price tag

You know that the United States offered great prizes for whoever would kill those engaged in jihad in God's cause. God willing, we within the al-Qaeda Organization are committed to offering a prize amounting to 10,000 grams in gold to whoever would kill the occupier Bremer, his deputy, the commander of the US troops, or his deputy in Iraq.

With respect to the United Nations, it is merely a Crusader-Zionist tool even though it might seek cover by offering some relief work. ... Therefore, whoever kills Kofi Annan, the head of his mission to Iraq, or his representatives, like Lakhdar Brahimi, will have the same prize, which is 10,000 grams of gold.

There will be a prize of 1,000 grams of gold for whoever kills a military figure or civilian from the veto masters, such as the Americans or British, and 500 grams of gold for whoever kills a military figure or civilian from the slaves of the General Assembly in Iraq, such as Japan and Italy.

In view of the security circumstances, the handing over of the prizes will be at the nearest possible opportunity, God willing. Whoever is killed after killing one of the soldiers of occupation, the biggest prize will be for us and for him.

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.

'Al-Qaeda' offers gold for deaths
07 May 04  |  Middle East


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