Another video release from the Egyptian physician (broadcast by JihadTV, of course), playing to the American left more than to the jihadis: Zawahiri vows attacks on US, slams Hamas.
DUBAI (AFP) - Al-Qaeda’s second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri has vowed in a videotape that his group will pursue attacks on the United States and slammed Palestinian Hamas for joining the political process.
Only jihad, or holy war, can liberate occupied Palestinian territory, not elections, Zawahiri said in the video broadcast on Qatar-based pan-Arab television Al-Jazeera Wednesday without explicitly naming the Islamist movement.
Zawahiri said Al-Qaeda, which claimed the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, will not stop attacks on US soil as long as the United States strikes Muslims on their own land.
“If we are hit in our countries, we will not stop striking you in your country,” he said.
Zawahiri said he believed the United States will ultimately have to talk with “the real forces” in the Islamic world in order to extricate itself from Iraq and Afghanistan, in a reference to Islamist extremists.
“It seems you will undertake a painful journey of failed negotiations before being forced to go back, God willing, to negotiation with the real forces,” said a turbaned Zawahiri.
Osama bin Laden’s number two also said US President George W. Bush was deceiving Americans by telling them he was going after “terrorists” in Afghanistan and Iraq in order to keep them away from the United States.
“Your safety lies in the following equation: you will not dream of security until we live secure in Palestine and all Muslim lands,” Zawahiri said.
Before September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden rarely mentioned the Palestinians. Now that they’ve recognized the propaganda value of this overriding Islamic obsession, the quest to destroy Israel is their constant refrain.
“Accepting the legitimacy of Mahmud Abbas, the head of the national authority, America’s man in Palestine, and mandating the PLO which recognizes Israel to negotiate with Israel is an abyss which will ultimately lead to eliminating the jihad and recognizing Israel,” Zawahiri said.
Flanked by an automatic rifle, Zawahiri chided “some brothers in Palestine” who had been dragged into “elections on the basis of a secular constitution” because they had overlooked the realities of “the conflict between infidelity and Islam.”
Participation in the polls in turn led to “respecting international (UN) resolutions,” which was followed by accepting to form a government of national unity, and later by attempts to “get them (Hamas) out of government,” he said.
“How come they did not demand an Islamic constitution for Palestine before entering any elections? Are they not an Islamic movement?” Zawahiri asked.
He said it was “the duty of every Muslim” to recover Muslim land.
“Hence, as Muslims, we cannot give up one inch of Palestine to Israel — there’s no difference between 1948-Palestine and 1967-Palestine as far as we are concerned. All of it is Palestine and it all belongs to Muslims,” he said.
UPDATE at 12/20/06 9:42:50 am:
In case you missed the obvious appeal to the Iraq Surrender Groupies, the Associated Press spells it out for you: Al-Zawahri: U.S. talking to wrong people.