But bin Laden himself appears to have created something of a backlash in the Arab and Muslim worlds with a video statement released over the weekend in which he denounced the United Nations, the U.S.-led attacks in Afghanistan, and Muslims who support either one.
After bin Laden's taped comments were aired, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said bin Laden did not speak for the world's Arabs and Muslims when he called for a holy war against the United States.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Maher also dismissed bin Laden's remarks, saying, "There is a war between bin Laden and the whole world."
White House spokeswoman Anne Womack added, "This is more propaganda that shows how isolated he is from the world."
Opposition Leader Rescued
In a further military operation, the U.S. military and CIA helped to rescue a leading opposition figure from southern Afghanistan on Sunday, just as the Taliban was moving in to capture and kill him, sources tell ABCNEWS.
Hamid Karzai, a minister in the pre-Taliban government, was reportedly having success in urging tribal leaders in southern Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. But several of those he had met with were reportedly caught and hanged.
Officials say Karzai was flown to safety in Pakistan by a U.S. helicopter. It was just 10 days ago that another opposition leader in the south, Abdul Haq, on a similar mission, was captured and killed by the Taliban, after the U.S. failed to get to him in time.
U.N.: No Aid Without Taliban Assurances
In other developments:
The Taliban today urged the United Nations to bring aid into the war-ravaged country before winter sets in, but a U.N. spokeswoman said that the regime itself is one of the main obstacles to getting help to the Afghan people. U.N. spokeswoman Stephanie Bunker told Reuters that until the Taliban guarantees the safety of U.N. personnel, no international aid workers will be sent in to Afghanistan.
A senior Taliban official said an American who was arrested two weeks ago in southern Afghanistan died in custody of natural causes. The official identified the man as John Bolton of California, and said he entered Afghanistan as a relief worker, but was arrested on charges of spying for the United States. State Department officials had no comment on the report.
The latest numbers of victims from the attacks on the World Trade Center, according to New York City officials are: 3,897 are missing and 499 identified dead.