The latest audio message attributed to Osama Bin Laden, broadcast by the al-Jazeera TV network, urges Iraqis to boycott elections scheduled for 30 January.
It backs Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and praises those carrying out attacks against US troops and Iraqi officials.
Here are excerpts:
"I believe that the mujahid emir, dignified
brother Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and the groups affiliated with him are good and from the group that fights according to the orders of God. God sufficeth them.
We were pleased with their daring operations against the Americans and [Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad] Allawi's renegade government.
We were also pleased by their response to the orders of God and the prophet, may God's peace and blessings be upon him, with regard to unity and adhering to the covenant of God.
We in the al-Qaeda organisation warmly welcome their
union with us. This is a great step toward rendering
successful the efforts of the mujahideen to establish the
state of right and annihilate the state of injustice.
We hope that God will accept and bless this step. It should be known that mujahid brother Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is the emir of the al-Qaeda organisation in the Land of the Two Rivers.
The brothers in the group there should heed his
orders and obey him in all that which is good.
As is known, the constitution which US occupier
[Civilian Administrator of the Coalition Provisional
Authority Paul] Bremer imposed is a man-made, secular constitution. He insisted that Islam should not be the sole source of legislation.
Therefore, supposing that the source of 90% of the laws is the Islamic Sharia [law] and the source of 10% is man-made legislation, this constitution, according to Islam, is an infidel constitution.
Based on that, whoever participates, knowingly and
willingly, in the elections we have just described, becomes a non-believer. Strength is derived only from God.
One should exercise caution against the impostors who speak in the name of Islamic parties and groups, urging people to participate in this defiant apostasy."
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.