Al-Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahri appears in new videotape

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Photo from the FBI's website of Ayman al-Zawahri.

Al-Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahri has appeared in a new videotape in which he calls President George W. Bush a "liar" and a "failure" in the war against terrorism. The video, which is 18 minutes long and titled "Bush, the Pope, Darfur and the Crusades" was released by IntelCenter and was produced by the media agency al-Sahab.

"Can't you be honest at least once in your life, and admit that you are a deceitful liar who intentionally deceived your nation when you drove them to war in Iraq?" said Zawahiri.

"Bush, you deceitful charlatan, 3 1/2 years have passed since your capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, so how have you found us during this time? Losing and surrendering? Or are we launching attacks with God's help and becoming martyrs? What you have perpetrated against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other Muslim captives in your prisons and the prisons of your slaves in Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and elsewhere is not hidden from anyone, and we are a people who do not sleep under oppression and who do not abandon our revenge until our chests have been healed of those who have committed aggression against us," added Zawahiri.

"Your agents in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan have captured thousands of the youth and soldiers of Islam whom you made to taste at your hands and the hands of your agents various types of punishment and torture. They are countering arguments that individuals have been able to provide useful information and they are continuing to reinforce their intentions for revenge," continued Zawahiri.

In the video, Zawahiri also criticizes the Pope Benedict XVI for comments he made against Muslims in a speech on September 12, 2006 and also calls for the Pope and all Christians to "become Muslims."

"This charlatan Benedict brings back to our memories the speech of his predecessor charlatan Urban II in the 11th century ... in which he instigated Europeans to fight Muslims and launch the Crusades because he (Urban) claimed 'atheist Muslims, the enemies of Christ' are attacking the tomb of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him," said Zawahiri.

"If Benedict attacked us, we will respond to his insults with good things. We will call upon him and all of the Christians to become Muslims who do not recognize the Trinity or the crucifixion," added Zawahiri.

Zawahiri also said that sending any peacekeepers to the Darfur Region of Sudan is a "crusader plan" and that all Muslims in the region "should defend themselves."

"There is a Crusader plan to send Crusaders forces to Darfur that is about to become a new field of the Crusades war. Oh, nation of Islam, rise up to defend your land from the Crusaders aggression who are coming wearing United Nations masks. No one will defend you (Darfur) but a popular holy war," said Zawahiri.

The U.S. intelligence agency, the CIA has confirmed that the tape is authentic and that the person appearing in the video is Zawahiri.

"After conducting a technical analysis of the videotape, the CIA can confirm with confidence that the voice on the tape is that of Ayman al-Zawahri," said spokeswoman for the CIA, Michele Neff.

It is not known exactly when the video was made, but United States officials say that it was written after September 12, the day of the Pope's speech.

This is the 48th video released by al-Qaeda this year. Zawahiri appeared in 14 of those videos.