"The responsibility for the current situation in Saudi Arabia rests with the regime," said the voice on the tape, broadcast on a website and subsequently on Aljazeera.

 

The authenticity of the tape could not be immediately verified.

 

"In Saudi Arabia, it is the king and not Allah who commands sovereignty and complete obedience," the voice on the tape said. "I advised the government two decades ago to remedy the situation ... but it has not changed at all."

 

"We pray to Allah to welcome the souls of the mujahidin (Islamic fighters) who attacked the American consulate in Jedda," he said, referring to the 6 December attack in the Saudi city in which four of the attackers, together with five non-American embassy staff members, were killed.

 

Bin Ladin said there is no difference between one Arab leader and another as they are all keen to implement US policies in the region.

 

No difference

 

"We are not talking about a corrupt, impious leader, but about the apostasy and collaboration of leaders with the infidels.

 

"Since there is no difference between [Paul] Bremer, the former governor in Baghdad, and [Iyad] Allawi, the current leader, in applying US policies in Iraq, there is no difference between Bremer and the rest of the region's leaders in applying US policies," Bin Ladin said. 

Bin Ladin: Saudis have ignored all
conditions to prevent bloodshed

With regard to Saudi Arabia, he talked about "the conflict between the leaders and the people", and also about the stands of other Arab leaders.

 

Addressing "Muslims in Saudi Arabia in particular and in other countries in general", Bin Ladin said: "This is a message about the conflict between the leaders of Riyadh and people of the country and the way to solve it."

 

"The necessity of security and safety, the sanctity of Muslims' blood, the necessity of harmony and union and the dangers of conflicts and separation (division) have been discussed a great deal in Saudi Arabia," he said.

 

"They have claimed that the mujahidin are responsible for the continuing incidents in Saudi Arabia. But it is very clear that it is the government's responsibility as it has ignored all conditions required to ensure safety and prevent bloodshed."

 

Bin Ladin added: "If we want to correctly, practically and scientifically solve the conflict, we should know its reality, roots and directions. Part of this conflict is internal, but in other dimensions it is a conflict between international non-believers supported by the US-led apostates on the one side, and the Muslim nation and the mujahidin brigades on the other side."

 

Saudi Arabia has been battling insurgents with suspected links to Bin Ladin's al-Qaida network to put down a wave of deadly attacks which began in May 2003.