Bin Laden Criticizes United Nations

Usama bin Laden warned Arab leaders in a video tape broadcast Saturday that using the United Nations for peace negotiations is tantamount to renouncing Islam.

"They are infidels" if they turn to the international body, he said.

Al-Jazeera television, based in the Gulf emirate of Qatar, said the video was delivered to its office in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

There was no indication of when the tape was made, according to Ali al-Kaabi, news gathering coordinator for Al-Jazeera. He said the satellite channel's Kabul office received the tape recently but he did not know exactly when.

Bin Laden's statement appeared to be aimed at Arab leaders who have called for international efforts to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Bin Laden, America's chief suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington that killed thousands of people, made only brief references to Afghanistan in the short excerpts shown so far on Al-Jazeera. The satellite television station said it would show the entire video later Saturday.

"The whole West is supporting this unjust, ferocious campaign against Afghanistan," bin Laden said. "No evidence proves that what happened in America (is related to) the people of Afghanistan, and the people of Afghanistan have nothing to do with this, but the campaign is going on, exterminating civilians from children, women and innocents."

Bin Laden wore a white turban and scarf with a black-and-green camouflage jacket. An automatic rifle stood at his left side as he gestured with his right hand in front of a plain brown backdrop.

He said that Arab leaders who negotiate for peace through the United Nations "have renounced the message of the prophet Muhammad, peace be on him."

In reference to the United Nations, bin Laden asked: "Who was responsible for the partition of Palestine in 1947?"

On Nov. 29, 1947, the U.N. General Assembly approved the partition of Palestine, which allowed the creation of the state of Israel.

The video shown Saturday was the fifth communique from bin Laden or his Al Qaeda organization that Al-Jazeera has received since Oct. 7. Four have been videos of bin Laden or his spokesmen. The other, shown Thursday, was a handwritten letter bearing what Al-Jazeera said was bin Laden's signature.