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Al-Jazeera airs purported al-Qaeda tape

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An audio tape said to have been recorded by a senior member of the al-Qaeda network has been broadcast by Arabic television channel al-Jazeera.

The speaker is identified as Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama Bin Laden's deputy.

He calls for organised resistance against invading "crusaders" in the Muslim world.

He also says it is the duty of every Muslim to liberate "Palestine", and says the West is complicit in the deaths of Palestinian militant leaders.

"In Palestine, we do not only face the Jews, but we also face the global coalition against Islam, led by the crusader and Zionist United States and the crusader West and the agent leaders behind them."


Zawahri, a bespectacled Egyptian former surgeon, is believed to be the architect of the al-Qaeda ideology.

In 1998, he was the second of five signatories to Bin Laden's notorious "fatwa" calling for attacks against US civilians.

He was a key figure in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad group, which later merged with al-Qaeda.

Zawahri's wife and children were reported killed in a US air strike in late November or early December 2001.

He has been indicted in the US for his alleged role in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in East Africa, and was sentenced to death in Egypt in absentia for his activities with the Islamic Jihad group in the 1990s.

He is believed to be hiding with the al-Qaeda leader on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

In a videotape released last month, Zawahri said the defeat of US-led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan was only a matter of time.


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He sounds depressed...How sad. rolleyes.gif

(CNN) -- The Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera Friday aired what it claims is a new audiotape from al Qaeda's number-two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, issuing a call to action in the Muslim world.

The speaker on the tape remarks on conflicts in "Palestine," Iraq, Chechnya and Afghanistan, and the state of the Muslim resistance in those places, and acknowledges the possibility of being killed or captured -- the first time al-Zawahiri would have made such a direct remark about such a fate.

"Oh, young men of Islam, here is our message to you. If we are killed or captured, you should carry on the fight," the speaker says on the tape.

There were no immediate clues as to how recently the tape was recorded and the authenticity of the report could not be verified by CNN.

The speaker says the conflict between Palestinians and Israel remains the focus of Muslim resistance. He makes a reference to the Israeli-targeted killings in the spring of Hamas leaders Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi.

"Defending Palestine is a duty for all Muslims. You should never give up Palestine even if the whole world let it down. In Palestine, we don't face the Jews only, but the anti-Muslim world coalition lead by America the Crusader and the Zionist. We do know who killed Ahmed Yassin and Rantisi, it wasn't Israel alone that killed them. The U.S., Europe and our (Arab) leaders supported them in their act."

Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization, is considered a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States.

The resistance must begin now, the voice said, and fighters shouldn't wait for an invasion to respond.

"If we are captured or killed, you should carry on the fight," the voice said.

References also were made to Iraq, Chechnya and Afghanistan.


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