Al-Qaida airs video of alleged attack on US-Afghan forces

Footage also shows al-Qaida deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri ridiculing Bush's claim that he's deprived al-Qaida of a safe haven.

al Zawahri 88 (photo credit: )
al Zawahri 88
(photo credit: )
Al-Qaida posted Friday a video showing what they claimed to be an insurgent attack on a military position of US and Afghan forces in southern Afghanistan. The video appears to be an attempt by the terrorist network to disparage US claims to be winning the war against the Taliban and allied militia in Afghanistan. It begins with the deputy leader of al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahri, ridiculing US President George W. Bush and saying that his claim to have deprived al-Qaida of a safe haven in Afghanistan is a "bare-faced lie," according to a transcript by IntelCenter, a US group that tracks extremist messages. With a narrator speaking in American-accented English, the tape then shows video film of what it claims is an attack on a military position in Arghandab, a district north of the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. The authenticity of the scenes shown could not be verified. The video carried the logo of the al-Qaida media production company, as-Sahab, and it was posted on an Islamic Web site known for hosting extremist material. Al-Qaida appeared to have issued the tape on Thursday with the title "Holocaust of the Americans in the land of Khorasan, the Islamic emirate: Capture of an American post, Arghandab." The name Khorasan refers to Afghanistan. The video shows the insurgents firing at the alleged post but their weapons cannot be discerned because it is night. Tracer bullets cross the sky and one sees the explosions of what are said to be rocket-propelled grenades. "After a fierce battle, the mujahideen (holy warriors) begin their retreat from the zone of operations," the narrator says in English. The tape quotes a fighter as saying: "We retreated after about 45 minutes of fighting." It is not clear that the fighters overran the military position. And such an attack on a position held by US and Afghan forces in Arghandab could not be immediately confirmed. However, the video shows film shot in daylight of a single story compound of mud-plastered walls, where the Americans appear to have had a presence. "CPT ASHWOKTH UTAH. NG ETT," is scrawled on a wall, but there is little to suggest that foreign forces occupied the primitively-built building for long. The English-speaking narrator says the camera is going around "the liberated area to bring us pictures from inside the cleansed military bases." The video shows a battle-wrecked Nissan pickup truck, which people start stoning. There are no insignia on the white truck. An elderly Afghan, with a white beard and black turban, tells the camera what the foreigners were like: "The people suffered a lot because of these devils. No one could leave his house, not even for absolutions and prayers. We couldn't even light a lamp at night. Thanks to Allah, the infidels have left. "The people are very happy about the coming of the Taliban," he says.