somalia islamists 248.88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden issued a message on the Internet Saturday addressing Islamist operatives in Iraq and Somalia.
Speaking to Iraqi fighters, he said in his fifth statement this year and his second in two days, that the Islamic community was depending on them.
"Your Muslim nation is looking for you and praying for your victory. You are their hope after God. You are God's trusted soldiers who will liberate the ummah (the nation) from the serfdom of the crusaders in our countries."
He called on all Somalis to support the Islamic Courts, which he said were building an Islamic state in the Horn of Africa.
"You have no other means for salvation unless you commit to Islam, put your hands in the hands of the Islamic Courts to build an Islamic state in Somalia," he said.
Bin Laden lashed out at the president of Somalia's secular interim government, Abdullahi Yusuf, calling him a "traitor" and a "renegade"
The Islamic Courts group took over most of Somalia in June.
At just over 19 minutes in length, the audio recording it was accompanied by a photo of bin Laden above the logo and name Al-Sahab, al-Qaida's media production wing.
On Friday, bin Laden paid tribute to slain leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and denied that the terror organization was involved in sectarian strife in Iraq.