The terror leader whose gang beheaded Ken Bigley today lashed out at Muslim scholars for not speaking against the US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said they have “let us down in the darkest circumstances” in an audiotape posted on the internet.
Al-Zarqawi, who leads the feared terror group al-Qaida in Iraq, is believed to have escaped from his headquarters in the insurgent-held stronghold of Fallujah during the massive US led assault earlier this month.
He addressed his comments to the ulama – religious Muslim scholars – on the tape. Its authenticity could not be independently verified.
“You have let us down in the darkest circumstances and handed us over to the enemy… You have quit supporting the mujahedeen,” he said. “Hundreds of thousands of the nation’s sons are being slaughtered at the hands of the infidels because of your silence.”
It was unclear whether his message was intended as a direct threat against religious scholars.
This week, two Sunni clerics who were part of an influential Iraqi group that openly called for a boycott of January’s national elections because of the US offensive against Fallujah were assassinated by gunmen.
The audio message appeared as US and Iraqi security forces continued their search for al-Zarqawi after reports that he was in the region north of Baghdad. The US has placed a bounty of more than €18m on his head.
His group, formerly named Tawhid and Jihad, is responsible for dozens of deadly bombings and gruesome beheadings of foreign hostages.