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Bin Laden Accuses Moderate Arab Leaders, Urges Jihad

DUBAI (Reuters) -- Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has accused moderate Arab leaders of plotting with the West against Muslims and urged his followers to prepare for jihad, in a purported recording aired by Al-Jazeera television.

"It is clear that some Arab leaders have plotted with the Zionist-crusader coalition against our [Muslim] people, these [Arab countries] the United States calls the moderate states," bin Laden said, without naming any of the leaders.

"We must seriously work and prepare for jihad to enforce the right and abolish the wrong," bin Laden said in the audio recording, which was aired on March 14.

Bin Laden, who made a similar call for jihad on January 14, described Israel's offensive in Gaza and its attacks on the Palestinian territory as a "holocaust" and said militants wanting to help Gazans should support Iraqis fighting U.S.-led forces and Baghdad's government.

"The valuable and rare opportunity for those who sincerely want to free [Jerusalem] is to support the mujahedin in Iraq with everything they need to free the country," he said, adding that Jordan would be the next country to be liberated, giving militants access to the West Bank.

Al-Jazeera broadcast excerpts of the audio recording, in which the speaker's voice sounded like earlier messages from bin Laden.

"Gaza's holocaust after the long siege is a historic event and tragedy that underlines the need for a separation between Muslims and hypocrites," bin Laden said.

More than 60 messages have been broadcast by bin Laden, his second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri, and their allies since the September 11 attacks in 2001.