Qaida head vows to defeat `crusaders'

A battle is raging "between the soldiers of right and the soldiers of wrong."

zarqawi dead 298.88 (photo credit: CNN)
zarqawi dead 298.88
(photo credit: CNN)
The new leader of al-Qaida in Iraq vowed to defeat "crusaders and Shi'ites" in Iraq, according to a statement posted on the Web Tuesday. The statement appeared one day after the group announced that a man identified by the nom de guerre Abu Hamza al-Muhajer would succeed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as its leader. "It's no secret the ferociousness of the battle that is going on between the soldiers of right and the soldiers of wrong - the crusaders, the rejectionists (Shi'ites) and apostates in Iraq," the statement said. The Jordanian-born Al-Zarqawi died Wednesday in a US airstrike on a safehouse in Baqouba, north of Baghdad. On Monday, al-Muhajer said he would continue in the slain leader's path, moving quickly to show the organization could keep up its campaign of attacks against Shi'ites and US and Iraqi forces. Al-Muhajer, like Al-Zarqawi, appeared to be a foreign Arab. But otherwise he is an unknown. The name has not appeared in previous al-Qaida in Iraq propaganda or on US lists of terrorists who have rewards on their heads, suggesting he is a lower-level figure or a more prominent member who has taken a new pseudonym. US President George W. Bush said Monday that "the successor to Zarqawi is going to be on our list to bring to justice," Bush said.