New York: Al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader has lashed out at Afghanistan’s government and claimed that any US gains in Iraq will be temporary, a terror monitoring group said. In a new video, Ayman Al-Zawahri also lauded his group’s fight in several countries and criticized leaders of those nations for their fight to counter the terrorists, according to the SITE Intelligence group.
Zawahri’s comments, carried on a militant Web site Thursday, came about a week after his last message in which he accused President-elect Barack Obama of turning his back on his black heritage to gain power.
Osama bin Laden’s top lieutenant did not refer to the attacks in Mumbai, India, late Wednesday and early Thursday that killed scores. Intelligence analysts said the violence carried trademarks of al-Qaida but evidence has been pointing to homegrown terrorists. A little known suspected Islamic militant group has claimed responsibility.
In the video, SITE says Zawahri labeled Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s recent attempt to negotiate with Taliban insurgents a sign of his government’s weakness.
He also accused the United States of giving phony reports of success in the turbulent region, maintaining the Americans are doomed to fail in Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Discussing Iraq, Zawahri said that US gains are temporary. He also stressed that the Sunni Awakening Councils- former insurgents who have revolted against al-Qaida will not be accepted by the Shiite majority government.
US-based SITE said Zawahri defended against charges of al-Qaida’s killing innocent civilians, calling the reports Western propaganda.