Al-Qaida's No. 2 releases videotape

Says terror network's bombings "broke the back" of the US military in Iraq.

April 29, 2006 04:08
3 minute read.
Al-Qaida's No. 2 releases videotape

al qaida video . (photo credit: AP via IntelCenter)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Al-Qaida's No. 2 said the terror network's branch in Iraq had "broken the back" of the US military with hundreds of suicide bombings, in a video posted Saturday that was the latest in a string of new messages by al-Qaida's leaders. The video by Ayman al-Zawahri, posted on an Islamic Web forum, came within the same week as an audiotape by al-Qaida's top leader Osama bin Laden and a video by the head of al-Qaida's branch in Iraq - a volley of messages by the group's most prominent figures. Al-Zawahri, an Egyptian terrorist believed to be hiding in Afghanistan or Pakistan, also denounced the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq as "traitors" and called on Muslims to rise up to "confront them." He said that US and British forces in Iraq had bogged down in Iraq and "have achieved nothing but loss, disaster and misfortune." Al-Qaida in Iraq "alone has carried out 800 martyrdom operations (suicide attacks) in 3 years, besides the sacrifices of the other mujahedeen, and this is what has broken the back of American in Iraq," al-Zawahri said. The video was first obtained by IntelCenter, a US contractor that provides counterterrorism intelligence services to the US government. US counterterrorism officials were aware of the video and analyzing it to glean whatever they could from the message, two officials said on condition of anonymity. One of the officials, who would not be identified in compliance with office policy, said it was part of al-Qaida's ongoing propaganda blitz to demonstrate they remain relevant. Bin Laden issued an audiotape on Sunday accusing the United States and Europe of supporting a "Zionist" war on Islam in what many analysts saw as an attempt to draw support from moderate Muslims. Two days later, the head of al-Qaida in Iraq - Jordanian terrorits Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - issued an audiotape in which he showed his face for the first time and denounced Iraq's attempts to form a new government. He called on Sunni Arabs to join the "jihad" or holy war in Iraq. Al-Zawahri's 16-minute video posted Saturday, entitled "A Message to the People of Pakistan," was mainly dedicated to blasting Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, accusing him of undermining his own country to help the United States, Israel and India. There was no date in the video, but al-Zawahri mentioned a "recent" visit in early March by US President George W. Bush to India and Pakistan. During the visit, Bush "gave a great push to India's nuclear program while handing out orders and instructions in Pakistan," al-Zawahri said. "Every soldier and officer in the Pakistani military should know that Musharraf is throwing them into the burner of civil war in return for the bribes he is getting from the United States," al-Zawahri said. "For this reason I call on every soldier and officer in the Pakistani army to disobey the orders of his commanders to kill Muslims in Pakistan or Afghanistan or otherwise he will be confronted by the mujahedeen," he said. In the video, the grey-bearded al-Zawahri sat indoors, in front of a semi-translucent white curtain with rows of lace embroidery on it. Wearing a black turban and white traditional robes, he motioned often with his right hand, while his left arm remained largely still, as it has in other recent videos. Al-Zawahri, who last appeared in a video on March 4, has been the most vocal spokesman for al-Qaida. While bin Laden was silent for nearly a year - ending his silence with an audiotape in January - al-Zawahri has frequently released messages, using videos while bin Laden only issued audiotapes. US intelligence officials have said they believe the two are hiding separately. It was not known what prompted the release of bin Laden's, al-Zawahri's and al-Zarqawi's messages within the space of one week - and to what degree they were coordinated. Al-Zawahri messages have closely followed bin Laden ones in the past, suggesting a degree of coordination. Al-Zarqawi's tapes, however, have often appeared more closely timed with events in Iraq.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon.
May 22, 2019
UN envoy to Iraq calls for international support to prevent IS resurgence