CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to launch a jihad against Israel and condemned Arab governments as allies of the Jewish state in a new message aimed at harnessing anger in the Mideast over the Gaza offensive.
Bin Laden spoke in an audiotape posted Wednesday on Islamic militant Web sites where al-Qaeda usually issues its messages. It was his first tape since May and came nearly three weeks after Israel started its campaign against Gaza's militant Hamas rulers.
"There is only one strong way to bring the return of Al-Aqsa and Palestine, and that is jihad in the path of God," bin Laden said in the 22-minute audiotape, referring to the revered Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. "The duty is to urge people to jihad and to enlist the youth into jihad brigades."
"Muslim nation, you are capable of defeating the Zionist entity with your popular capabilities and your great hidden strength - without the support of (Arab) leaders and despite the fact that most of (the leaders) stand in the barracks of the Crusader-Zionist alliance," bin Laden said.
The authenticity of the tape could not be independently confirmed, but the voice resembled that of bin Laden in previous messages.
The tape, entitled "Call for jihad to stop the aggression on Gaza," was played over a still picture of bin Laden and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City, one of Islam's holiest sites. But there were no English subtitles and flashy production effects that usually accompany such messages.
That suggested the message had been hastily put together and issued to best exploit anger in the region over the Gaza offensive, which Palestinian medical officials say has killed more than 940 Palestinians, half of them civilians. Israel said the offensive aims to halt rocket fire from Gaza against Israeli towns.
Bin Laden accused Arab leaders of "avoiding their responsibility" to liberate Palestine.
"If you are not convinced to fight, then open the way to those who are convinced," he said.
Bin Laden and his lieutenants frequently use the Palestinian issue to try to rally support for al-Qaeda and often call for holy war to free Jerusalem.
San Diego officials and residents will hold commemorative events around the county Tuesday on the 40th anniversary of the Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182 crash.
September 25, 1978 is a date imprinted in the memories of many San Diegans. Those that lived here – and elsewhere – remember the shocking images of plane wreckage on fire and homes ablaze following the crash of PSA Flight 182, which was 40 years ago Tuesday.
Last week, News 8 introduced you to Jeffrey Dilallo, the owner of El Cajon’s The Grand who banned certain motorcycle clubs he said violated his ‘no weapons’ policy.
The family of a surfer from Carlsbad who went missing in Mexico is holding out hope that he will be found safe.
Temperatures will begin to warm through Thursday, with Thursday being the warmest day of the week. Gusty east winds west of the mountains are possible as weak offshore flow develops.
Earlier this summer, News 8 introduced you to a rare litter of gray wolf pups born at the California Wolf Center in Julian. Now we have an update on the special bundle of joy.
A former Charger girl captain said she has what it takes to win a million-dollars on CBS' "Survivor."
After crashing a car into a tree in the South Bay on Monday a driver was placed under arrest accused of attacking a CHP officer. It happened about 1:30 p.m. along northbound I-5 at Main Street in Chula Vista.
The San Diego City Council voted Monday to rename a street outside Petco Park after Hall of Fame pitcher and former San Diego Padre Trevor Hoffman.
A San Diego man was attacked while trying to sell his brand new iPhone to someone using Craigslist and part of the attack was captured on the victim’s dashboard camera.