Al-Qaida's No. 2 issued a new audiotape on Tuesday threatening to retaliate against Britain for having honored novelist Salman Rushdie, a US-based intelligence monitoring group said.
Ayman al-Zawahri's 20 minute speech was entitled "Malicious Britain and its Indian Slaves." It was produced by as-Sahab, the multimedia wing of al-Qaida, to be distributed to extremist web sites, said the US-based SITE intelligence group, which monitors al-Qaida messages.
The authenticity of the tape could not be independently confirmed.
Osama bin Laden's deputy lashed out at Britain for having awarded a knighthood to Rushdie last month, saying it was defying the Islamic world by granting the honor to the author of "The Satanic Verses," deemed to insult Islam.