The 27-minute tape quoted extensively from the Muslim holy book, the Quran, and said jihad, or holy war, was the "only solution to all the problems."
The tape was obtained Monday by The Associated Press from an Algerian national, identified only as Aadil, who said he had slipped across the border from Afghanistan where the tape was apparently recorded.
There was no way to independently confirm that the voice on the tape was that of bin Laden. But it was translated by an Arabic-speaking Afghan who met with the terrorist mastermind years ago and who said he believed the voice appeared to be his.
There also was no clear indication of when the tape was made. But from the message, it appeared to have been recorded after the outbreak of war in Iraq last month.
"You should avenge the innocent children who have been assassinated in Iraq. Be united against (President) Bush and (British Prime Minister Tony) Blair and defeat them with suicide attacks so that you may be successful before Allah," urges the voice purported to be that of bin Laden.
"Oh Muslim brothers, let us promise to devote our lives to martyrdom in the way of Allah. America has attacked Iraq and soon will also attack Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Sudan. You should be aware that kafirs (non-Muslims) cannot bear the existence of Muslims and want to capture their resources and destroy them."
In the tape, bin Laden's supposed voice urges the faithful to attack governments in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Unlike previous recording allegedly by bin Laden, this one has a single theme — suicide attacks.
"All of them have been imposed upon you and jihad (holy war) against them is your duty," said the Arabic-language tape, handed to AP in the remote northwestern region of Pakistan. The only other individual identified by name on the tape was Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai. "One of the slaves of America is Karzai in Afghanistan because he supported kafirs over Muslims. Pakistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi are also agents of America."
Bin Laden has been in hiding since a U.S.-led coalition ousted the Taliban regime that gave him protection in Afghanistan in December 2001. He is believed to cross back-and-forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
After the capture last month of his top lieutenant, Khaled Shaikh Mohammed, near Islamabad, Pakistani authorities said they were closing in on the elusive terrorist, who is the prime suspect behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
The messenger, Aadil, has an association with bin Laden dating back to the 1980s invasion of Afghanistan by the former Soviet Union.
Aadil worked in Peshawar with Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian, who together with bin Laden founded Makhtab al Khidmat, the organization which recruited Middle Eastern fighters to Afghanistan.
Aadil said he was in Pakistan to locate his two colleagues arrested last week in the northwestern city of Peshawar after FBI agents intercepted calls made from a cell phone.
The tape delivered by Aadil condemned Muslim governments who have supported the U.S.-led coalition's war on Iraq and the global war that has targeted bin Laden.
The cassette tape made repeated promises of heaven for those who carried out suicide attacks. "I ask the Muslim women to join jihad by providing food to mujahedeen (holy warriors.) Elders should pray for us. I am proud of those martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Islam."
"Do not be afraid of their tanks and armored personnel carriers. These are artificial things," he said. "If you started suicide attacks you will see the fear of Americans all over the world. Those people who cannot join forces in jihad should give financial help to those mujahedeen who are fighting against U.S. aggression."
By Kathy Gannon
By Kathy Gannon