Ayman al-Zawahiri in video broadcast by Al-Jazeera
Al-Qaida’s No. 2 man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, says on a new video played by Al-Jazeera satellite television today that the next terror attack will be on U.S. soil.
Al-Zawahiri confirms he survived the U.S. air strike targeting him in Pakistan earlier this month and calls President Bush “the butcher of Washington and a failure” with reference to the attack.
“The war will be transferred to Bush’s soil,” al-Zawahiri warns.
Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian doctor by training, says of Bush: “You are not only a liar, but also a failed crusader and a traitor.” – a similar message to that of his last video, also broadcast by Al-Jazeera, which predicted Bush’s defeat and “the victory of Islam” in Iraq.
He appears in his turban and pointing an admonishing finger.
“I cannot die if God does not want this,” says al-Zawahiri. “My life does not depend on you, but is in God’s hands. Do you know where I am now? I am amongst Muslims, who are protecting me.”
The second part of the message is addressed directly to the American people. Al-Zawahiri reminds them that their president did not accept Osama bin Laden’s offer in his video message transmitted by al-Jazeera Jan. 19 – a truce in exchange for America’s withdrawal from Iraq.
“Who has actually withdrawn from Iraq? Which soldiers are currently killing themselves?” al-Zawahiri asks. “When your sons come home in coffins, you should thank Messrs Bush and Blair for this.”
In the video, al-Zawahiri spoke before a black background. No automatic weapon was visible, unlike past videos.
“The lion of Islam, Sheik Osama bin Laden, may God protect him, offered you a decent exit from your dilemma. But your leaders, who are keen to accumulate wealth, insist on throwing you in battles and killing your souls in Iraq and Afghanistan and – God willing – on your own land.”