Ayman al-Zawahiri releases new tape

Saturday, January 21, 2006

FBI photo of Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The CIA has confirmed that a tape that surfaced today is that of Ayman al-Zawahiri.

A spokesman for the CIA said, "Following technical analysis of the tape, the CIA has assessed that it is the voice of Ayman al-Zawahiri."

The tape was posted on an internet forum that has carried Al Qaeda communiqués before.

On the tape, Zawahiri read a poem called the "martyrs of jihad". He said that he dedicates it to "Muslim brothers everywhere, to the mujahedeen brothers in Islam's fortified borderlines against the Zionist-Crusader campaign in Palestine and Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechnya and to the lions chasing the crusaders' gangs and hired hands in Afghanistan's mountains and valleys and its wounded capital, Kabul."

He then went on to say, "I am honored to present this mujahedeen poem, written by Maulai Muhibbulla al-Qandahari, who carried the pen and the sword and was known in the circles of scholars and the training camps and the battlefields of jihad."

It is still unclear as to when the tape was made exactly and it is still unclear if it has anything to do with the release of Bin Laden's tape yesterday.

On the tape, Zawahiri makes no mention of the U.S. missile attacks that killed 18 people, including women and children, and is suspected of killing 4 terrorists last week.

A U.S. counterterrorism expert said there was "no reason to believe it was done recently. It could be something that someone pulled off the shelf and decided to post."

U.S. officials reasoned that the tapes release "might have been timed to assure his followers that Bin Laden was alive and well" just days after the U.S. air strikes.

U.S. rejects Bin Laden's Truce

On Thursday, Vice President, Dick Cheney dismissed Bin Laden's truce saying that "We don't negotiate with terrorists. I think you have to destroy them."

Cheney also said that he thinks the Al Qaeda truce appeared to be a "ploy," but also added that "it is too early to draw conclusions." He also said, "I'm not sure what he's offering by way of a truce. I don't think anybody would believe him...it sounds to me like it's some kind of a ploy. This is not an organization that's ever going to sit down and sign a truce."