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Online holiday greetings for Saddam, bin Laden

Several Islamic web sites are urging people to send messages to Saddam Hussein.
Several Islamic web sites are urging people to send messages to Saddam Hussein.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- Several Islamist Web sites and message boards are encouraging visitors to send holiday greetings to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, a three-day festival that marks the end of Ramadan, a holy month in which Muslims fast during daylight hours.

The Web sites, which reflect radical Islamic opinion, opened their message forums for Eid greetings and urged people to send messages to the former Iraqi president and the al Qaeda leader. An Islamist is a supporter of Islamic political rule.

On one site a message addresses Saddam as a "great leader" who refused to be humiliated by the Americans.

"Brave Saddam Hussein, God protect him and give him victory over the Jews and those who worship the cross," the message states.

Another message reads: "Happy Eid to the brave leader, the father of the two martyrs" a reference to Saddam and his sons, Uday and Qusay, who were killed in a six-hour gunbattle with U.S. troops in Mosul, Iraq, in July.

Some messages on this and other Web sites consisted of poems written to bin Laden asking God to help them die for Islam by joining jihad, the fight against non-Muslims.

Earlier this month, video clips depicting what appear to be attacks on American forces in Iraq started showing up on an Arab Web site. (Full story)

The videotapes are recruiting tools to draw Saudis to Iraq to fight against Americans, said Ali al-Ahmed, an analyst with the Saudi Institute, an independent human rights group in Washington.

One video, filmed from a nearby parked car, apparently shows an American Humvee blowing up on what the Web site says is a Baghdad street. The explosion is replayed several times in a row for maximum impact.

Another tape shows a Humvee coming under machine gun fire.

The tapes were found by Saudi dissidents on a Web site run by a Saudi cleric and started appearing in the past week.

From CNN's Caroline Faraj, Henry Schuster and David Ensor


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