Afghanistan: Man claims to be new Al-Qaida leader

A man claiming to be the new al-Qaida leader in Afghanistan appeared in a videotape on al-Jazeera television Thursday saying the number of Islamic extremists in Afghanistan was on the rise. The individual, who identified himself as Mustafa Abu al-Yazeed and appeared wearing a white Afghan robe and white turban, said he was appointed by al-Qaida, but his claim could not be verified. Abu al-Yazeed said the number of Islamic militants in Afghanistan had increased after the Afghan people witnessed a rise in poverty and drugs under the current democratic administration. "This is the blessing of democracy of Mr. Bush," he said before correcting himself, "Sorry, of Bush the liar."