Archive for the ‘Ayman al-Zawahri’ Category

Qaeda wants Republicans, Bush “humiliated”: al Qaeda Video Asserts

October 31, 2008

DUBAI (Reuters) – An al Qaeda leader has called for President George W. Bush and the Republicans to be “humiliated,” without endorsing a party in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, according to an Internet video posting.

“O God, humiliate Bush and his party, O Lord of the Worlds, degrade and defy him,” Abu Yahya al-Libi said at the end of sermon marking the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, in a video posted on the Internet.

Libi, a top al Qaeda commander believed to be living in Afghanistan or Pakistan, called for God’s wrath to be brought against Bush equating him with past tyrants in history.

The remarks were the first from a leading al Qaeda figure referring, albeit indirectly, to the U.S. elections. Muslim clerics often end sermons by calling on God to guide and support Muslims and help defeat their enemies.

Terrorism monitor SITE Intelligence Group said in a report on Wednesday that militants on al Qaeda-linked websites have for months been debating the significance of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama or Republican John McCain.

Some posters have also argued over the merits of trying to attack the United States before the election or waiting until later, the report said.

But SITE said it did not expect al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden or deputy Ayman al-Zawahri to openly favor a candidate.

“To support a particular candidate would debase al-Qaeda’s long-standing argument that the United States government is a corrupt institution no matter who is at the helm,” SITE director Rita Katz said in the group’s November newsletter.

In 2004 bin Laden issued his first video in more than a year just days before the U.S. elections. It derided Bush and warned of possible new September 11-style attacks.

Bin Laden made little mention of Bush’s Democratic challenger, John Kerry, telling Americans: “Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands and each state which does not harm our security will remain safe.”

Kerry has attributed his loss in part to the video’s high-profile reminder of the terrorism issue.

In 2006, after Democrats captured Congress, Zawahri issued an audio message saying all Americans remained al Qaeda’s enemies regardless of party, SITE said.

SITE said militant postings on al Qaeda-linked websites typically discuss Obama in terms of his race, or his religion and foreign policy. Some forecast a racial crisis dividing the United States if he wins. Others say his planned phased withdrawal from Iraq would be a boon to al Qaeda’s affiliate and give it a base for Middle East expansion.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain has been portrayed as likely to allow “the continuation of Republican control and aggressive policies toward the Islamic world.”

(Additional reporting by Randall Mikkelsen in Washington; editing by Chris Wilson)

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Al-Qaida’s No. 2 defends deadly attacks

April 3, 2008

By  PAUL SCHEMM, Associated Press Writer 

CAIRO, Egypt – Al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri, rejecting criticism of attacks by the terror network’s followers that have killed thousands, maintained that it does not kill innocent people.

Al-Qaida's deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, is seen in this ...
Al-Qaida’s deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, is seen in this image made from videotape posted on Internet on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2005. Al-Zawahri, rejecting criticism of attacks by the terror network’s followers that have killed thousands, maintained Wednesday that it does not kill innocent people.(AP Photo/AP Television News/ho, FILE)

His comment came during a 90-minute audio response Wedneday that was billed as the first installment of answers to the more than 900 questions submitted on extremist Internet sites by al-Qaida supporters, critics and journalists in December.

“We haven’t killed the innocents, not in Baghdad, nor in Morocco, nor in Algeria, nor anywhere else,” al-Zawahri said, according to a 46-page English transcript that accompanied the audio message posted on Web sites linked to al-Qaida.

The answer was in response to the question: “Excuse me, Mr. Zawahri, but who is it who is killing with Your Excellency’s blessing the innocents in Baghdad, Morocco and Algeria?”

Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York and Washington in 2001, while its affiliates in Iraq, Afghanistan and Algeria regularly set off bombs in crowded urban areas that have taken thousands of lives.

“If there is any innocent who was killed in the mujahedeen’s operations, then it was either an unintentional error or out of necessity,” al-Zawahri said.

He went on to accuse al-Qaida’s opponents of being the ones who kill innocent people. He also charged that “the enemy intentionally takes up positions in the midst of the Muslims for them to be human shields for him.”

A banner bearing the logo of al-Qaida’s media arm, al-Sahab, appeared earlier in the day on Web sites linked to the network to announce that al-Zawahri’s first round of answers.

Al-Zawahri, the chief deputy to Osama bin Laden, said in the audio that he had chosen approximately 100 questions to answer.

Al-Sahab announced in December that al-Zawahri would take questions from the public posted on Islamic militant Web sites and would respond “as soon as possible.”

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