New al-Qaida tape calls for world wide Islamic terrorist unity

An al-Qaida spokesman called for unity among this week Islamic militants worldwide in a new recorded message, according to a US intelligence official. The approximately 28-minute tape features al-Qaida spokesman Abu-Yahya al-Libi telling Islamic scholars to lend their weight to support the jihad, a holy obligation or struggle. The intelligence official said this is an apparent effort to counter some Islamic scholars who are criticizing al-Qaida's violent activities, saying they do not qualify as jihad. The videotape, in Arabic, was posted Jan. 23 on a well-known radical Web site, the official said. Al-Libi urges military groups to resist splitting into factions along national or political lines and to fight only for Islamic causes, according to the US government's initial translation, the official said.