Islamic web forum releases videotape of Ayman al-Zawahiri

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Photograph of Ayman al-Zawahiri.

An Islamic militant web forum has released a videotape of Al-Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who reportedly released the tape to commemorate the battle of Tora Bora in December 2001.

"The Islamic nation must support the heroic mujahedeen [holy warriors] in Iraq, who are fighting on the very front line for the dignity of Islam. And to my brother mujahedeen in Iraq, I say, Stay firm. Stay together. Your enemy has begun to falter, so don't stop pursuing him until he flees defeated," said Zawahiri in the tape which was believed to have been made in November 2005.

"I warn all Muslims in Iraq: Anyone who impedes the jihad against the Crusader occupiers is a traitor to God and his prophet ... and a traitor to the rest of the Muslims," he added.

Zawahiri also accused United States President George W. Bush of being the "Caesar of Washington."

Photograph of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

"Bush, son of Bush, eliminating Israel is the duty of every believer. If we commit to peaceful action, they will demand we adhere to international laws and treaties that mean nothing to them. If we adhere to that, they will ask us to impose constraint on what they call terrorism and war on Israel. Then if we adhere to that, they will demand we recognize Israel and establish normal relations with it," Zawahiri continued.

Zawahiri also praised Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of an Iraqi militant group, calling him his "beloved brother" and says, "I have lived with him up close and have seen nothing but good from him."

Zawahiri has made at least three other tapes since November, all of which were broadcast by Al-Jazeera. He appeared in two tapes in January, and in one tape on March 4, 2006. The latest video was not released immediately after the date it was allegedly filmed, nor has Al-Jazeera yet broadcast the video by Zawahiri despite having broadcast his three previous tapes.

Al-Qaeda's leader, Osama Bin Laden, released an audio tape on January 19, 2006. Parts of that tape were aired on Al-Jazeera and it was the first time in over a year that Bin Laden had been heard.