Al-Qaida's No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri harshly criticized Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in a new audio tape Saturday, accusing him of being an enemy of Islam and threatening a wave of attacks against the North African country because it improved relations with the United States.
In the 28-minute audio tape called "Unity of the Ranks," al-Zawahri also announced that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was joining ranks with al-Qaida.
"The Islamic nation is witnessing a blessed step ... The brothers are escalating the confrontation against the enemies of Islam: Gadhafi and his masters, the Washington crusaders," al-Zawahri said in the audio tape. The recording could not be independently verified, but it appeared on a Web site commonly used by insurgents and carried the logo of al-Qaida's media production house, as-Sahab.