Al-Qaida Leader Mocks U.S. Forces in Video



Terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi revealed his face for the first time Tuesday in a dramatic video in which he dismissed Iraq's new government as an American "stooge" and called it a "poisoned dagger" in the heart of the Muslim world.

He also mocked the U.S. military in Iraq for what he called suicides, drug-taking and mutinies, and he warned that "worse" attacks were to come.

Al-Zarqawi also claimed the U.S. military was overwhelmed in Iraq.

"Why don't you tell people that your soldiers are committing suicide, taking drugs and hallucination pills to make them sleep?" he asked, directing his words to President Bush.


The video, in which he also warned of more attacks to come, was posted on the Internet only days after a breakthrough in Iraq's political process allowing its Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish leaders to start assembling a government.

It also followed a high-profile audiotape from Osama bin Laden and seemed a deliberate attempt by al-Zarqawi to reclaim the spotlight following months of taking a lower profile amid criticism of bombings against civilians. It was his first message since January.

A U.S. counterterrorism official, speaking on condition of anonymity in compliance with office policy, said analysts believe al-Zarqawi is showing his face to demonstrate that he is still engaged as a leader of jihad, or holy war.

The message also appeared to be an attempt by the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq to rally Iraqis and foreign fighters to his side at a time when U.S. and Iraqi officials are touting political progress as a setback to insurgents.

Al-Zarqawi appeared in the 30-minute video, which he said was made Friday, dressed head-to-toe in black with a black scarf around his head and a beard and mustache.

He seemed healthy, shown in one scene standing and firing a heavy machine gun in a flat desert landscape that resembled the vast empty stretches of western Iraq, where he is believed to be hiding.

He delivered his statement, sitting inside with an ammunition vest hung from his neck and an automatic rifle propped nearby.

Al-Zarqawi addressed Sunni Arabs in Iraq and across the Arab world, warning that their community was in danger of being caught between "the Crusaders and the evil Rejectionists," the terms used by radical Sunnis for the Americans and the Shiites.

"God almighty has chosen you (Sunnis) to conduct holy war in your lands and has opened the doors of paradise to you ... So mujahedeen, don't dare close those doors," he said. "They are slaughtering your children and shaming your women."


Any new government - "whether made up of the hated Shiites or the secular Zionist Kurds or the collaborators imposed on the Sunnis - will be stooges of the Crusaders and will be a poisoned dagger in the heart of the Islamic nation," he said.

He trumpeted the success of the insurgency, saying "when the enemy entered into Iraq, their aim was to control Iraq and the area. But here we have been fighting them for the last three years."


He addressed President Bush, telling him, "By God, you will have no peace in the land of Islam."

"Your dreams will be defeated by our blood and by our bodies. What is coming is even worse," he said.


A U.S. intelligence official, who also declined to be identified in compliance with office policy, said a technical analysis had determined that the voice on the tape was al-Zarqawi's.

Laura Mansfield has more:>>>

No comments:

Post a Comment