RealNews

Muslim Pilgrims Overjoyed by Bin Laden Tape

Muslims at the haj pilgrimage said on Wednesday they were delighted to hear Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden had issued a new taped message, saying it proved the “Islamic leader” was still alive. With the bulk of the two million worshippers spending their time in holy shrines and away from the media, many pilgrims said they had not heard the audio recording he reportedly made which Qatar’s al Jazeera television broadcast on Tuesday. Nonetheless, some pilgrims urged the fugitive al Qaeda leader to maintain his armed struggle against what they called infidel nations such as the United States. “I am very happy he is alive because he has made a lot of sacrifices for God and Muslims,” said Abdulrahman, a young Egyptian, as he angrily threw stones at a pillar representing the devil — one of the rituals of the pilgrimage. “May God help him in his struggle against the infidels until total victory.” Practically all pilgrims approached by Reuters supported bin Laden. In the tape, Washington’s chief suspect in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States urged Muslims to fight America and repel any war on Iraq. Bin Laden also praised suicide attacks as an important tool for the Muslim cause and warned that any Arab ruler who supported America or provided backing to the U.S.-led war on Baghdad would be an “apostate whose blood should be spilled.” Full Story

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