Bin Laden expresses support in Zarqawi, calls to boycott Iraq election
In an audiotape aired Monday by Al-Jazeera satellite television, a man purported to be Osama bin Laden expressed support to Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi and called for a boycott of next month's elections in Iraq.
The voice on the tape described al-Zarqawi as the "emir," or prince, of al-Qaeda in Iraq and said Muslims there should "listen to him."
The speaker called that "a great step on the path of unifying all the mujahedeen in establishing the state of righteousness and ending the state of injustice."
The speaker said al-Zarqawi and those with him are fighting "for God's sake." "We have been pleased that they responded to God's and his prophet's order for unity, and we in al-Qaeda welcome their unity with us," the speaker said.
The speaker also said he was "pleased" with al-Zarqawi's "gallant operations" against the Americans and interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's "apostate government."
The speaker condemned upcoming Iraq elections. "In the balance of Islam, this constitution is infidel and therefore everyone who participates in this election will be considered infidels," he said. "Beware of henchmen who speak in the name of Islamic parties and groups who urge people to participate in this blatant apostasy."