CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Osama bin Laden, in his latest audiotape,
accuses the United States and Europe of supporting a "Zionist"
war on Islam by cutting off funds to the Hamas-led Palestinian government.
It was the first new message by the al-Qaida leader in three
Al-Qaida is not believed to have direct links to Hamas, which is
a militant group that grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood. And a
Hamas spokesman was quick to distance the group from bin Laden.
The spokesman (Sami Abu Zuhri) says "the ideology of Hamas is
totally different from the ideology of Sheik bin Laden." However,
he notes that international sanctions on the Hamas-led government
would naturally anger some Muslims.
The groups do, however, share an anti-Israel ideology that calls
for the destruction of the Jewish state.
And recent reports in Middle East media say al-Qaida is trying to build cells in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Lebanon and Sudan.