Somali Fundamentalists Hail Bin Laden as Islamic Hero
Minority Muslim fundamentalists in Somalia have circulated leaflets depicting the world's most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, as a "Hero of Islam", it emerged Friday, as the last foreign aid workers quit the country.
The leaflets distributed around Mogadishu overnight show bin Laden, the chief suspect in the deadly September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, with an AK-47 automatic rifle in his lap.
Above his portrait are the words, written in Arabic: "There is only one God, Mohammed is the prophet," and below it "Geesigii Islaamka [Osaama Binu Laadin]", Somali for "Hero of Islam [Osama bin Laden.]"
One of the leaflets was faxed to AFP in Nairobi.
Messages broadcast from loudspeakers mounted on four to five cars on Friday told Mogadishu residents that the United States was going to destroy the people of Afghanistan, where bin Laden has supposedly been sheltered, and that the accusations leveled against the Saudi dissident were a pretext for an assault against all Muslims.
The messages also urged people to head to the capital's main stadium after Friday prayers "to show their support for Islam and denounce American aggression towards Afghanistan".
Fearful of reprisals in the case of a US strike against Afghanistan, the last foreign aid workers left Mogadishu for neighboring Kenya on Thursday evening, according to local aid workers -- NAIROBI (AFP)
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