A new audio cassette, the fifth one issued by the Al-Qaeda international terrorist organization this year, tells the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza that they need not be concerned. "I have not forgotten your struggle," the reviled terrorist chieftain Osama Bin-Laden is heard saying, "and we plan to expand our Jihad [holy war] to Palestine as well. We intend to liberate all of Palestine, from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea."
Previous messages by Bin-Laden have not mentioned Israel directly.
Just last week, Al-Qaeda carried out the murder of Pakistani Opposition Leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a Shia Moslem. Though it later denied its involvement, at least one recording has surfaced of Al-Qaeda leaders congratulating each other on the successful operation.
In the most recent tape, Bin-Laden speaks for nearly an hour about Iraq, the United States - and Israel. Promising to carry out attacks against Israel, he says, "Blood for blood, destruction for destruction."
"Unlike other Moslem leaders," Bin-Laden said, "we don't recognize even one centimeter of Palestinian land [sic] as belonging to the Jews." Even Hizbullah is too moderate, Bin-Laden feels, for having agreed to the stationing in southern Lebanon of an international peacekeeping force "to protect the Jews."
It was reported on Sunday that Egyptian security forces recently thwarted an Al-Qaeda attempt to establish a terrorist cell in Egypt. Fourteen Al-Qaeda suspects were arrested, according to a report in the London-based Al Hayat newspaper.