Zawahiri: After Iraq defeat, 'your economic doom will be achieved'

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

ABU DHABI Israel and Gulf allies of the United States are next, Al Qaida's No. 2 leader said on the fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001.

Ayman Zawahiri released a video that warned the West of such attacks, Middle East Newsline reported.

"You have to bolster your defenses in two areas," Zawahiri said in a message to Western leaders. "The first is the Gulf, from which you will be evicted, God willing, after your defeat in Iraq and then your economic doom will be achieved."

"And the next [target] is Israel," Zawahiri continued in a video broadcast on A-Jazeera satellite television. "The current holy war is closing in and your end there will put an end to the Zionist-crusader supremacy."

[On Tuesday, at least four Islamic attackers stormed the U.S. embassy in Syria with rocket-propelled grenades and light weapons fire. Syrian forces arrived and were said to have killed three of the attackers in a gunbattle in which a Syrian officer was also slain.

Syrian Interior Minister Bassam Abdul Hamid said suicide attackers tried to detonate two car bombs in front of the embassy, and one of the vehicles, packed with explosives and natural gas tanks, blew up. Abdul Hamid said no U.S. citizen was harmed.]

Al Qaida has claimed numerous attacks in Saudi Arabia, including the kingdom's oil facilities. Israeli intelligence sources assess that Al Qaida has sought a presence in the Gaza Strip through the movement's alliance with Hamas.

"If they [Al Qaida] have the possibility they will do it," Israeli researcher Eyal Zisser, a senior reserve intelligence officer, said. "If they haven't done it until now, it's because they haven't succeeded."

Zawahiri also announced that the Salafist Brigade for Combat and Call has formally joined Al Qaida. The brigade has been regarded as the leading and perhaps only major insurgency group in Algeria and maintains a presence in Europe as well.

Over the last few weeks, Zawahiri has issued several messages to the West and particularly the United States. Western analysts have been debating the meaning of these videos on the eve of the anniversary of the 2001 Al Qaida suicide strikes on New York and Washington.

In the 76-minute video, Zawahri accused Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia of supporting Israel's war against Hizbollah in Lebanon. He also criticized the United Nations Security Council resolution that stipulated the deployment of an expanded peace-keeping force in Lebanon.

"What is so terrible in this resolution is that it approves the existence of the Jewish state and isolates our holy warriors in Palestine from Muslims in Lebanon," Zawahiri said. "This is consecrated by the presence of international troops who are hostile to Islam. Anyone who accepts this resolution means that he accepts all these catastrophes."

Copyright 2006 East West Services, Inc.

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