Al-Qaida's Zawahri praises executed Bali bombers

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader has praised the three Bali bombers recently executed in Indonesia and criticized Saudi and other Arab leaders for participating in a U.N. interfaith conference.

Ayman al-Zawahri says in an audio recording posted Monday on an Islamic Web site that Indonesia and other governments in the Islamic world are protecting the interests of the "Crusaders" and the Jews and preventing Muslims from joining the jihad, or holy war, against them.

The 22-minute recording is al-Zawahri's third in less than two weeks.

The recording also contains statements by two of the Indonesians executed in November in which they call on Muslims to continue the jihad against the United States and the West.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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