Al-Qaida today accused Iran of collaborating with the United States in a video message summarising the state of jihad.
In short excerpts aired on the Arab satellite news channel Al-Jazeera, al-Qaida’s number two Ayman al-Zawahri accused Iran working with US forces.
“The guardian of Muslims in Tehran is cooperating with the Americans in occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and recognises the two hireling governments there,” he said.
Al-Zawahri also criticised the Shiites for not “issuing any fatwa inside or outside Iraq calling for jihad and carrying arms against the Crusader occupier in Iraq.” In militant postings, “crusaders” is shorthand for US troops in Iraq.
Al-Zawahri has been increasingly singling out Iran and Shiites in his messages, most recently in April, describing the “Persians” as the enemy of Arabs and complicit in the occupation of Iraq.
The latest video featured clips of al-Qaida operations in the various fronts around the world, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, with prominent figures from the movement discussing their accomplishments over the year, Al-Jazeera said.
The pan-Arab network did not disclose how it obtained the recording. By this evening, the video had not surfaced on militant websites commonly used as clearing houses for the terror networks’ messages.
In contrast to reports that al-Qaida has been weakened in Iraq, the message to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the US claimed that jihad was alive and well and, according to Al-Jazeera’s website, showed an Iraqi scholar decrying the US-allied awakening councils that have turned against al-Qaida as “treacherous” and “doomed.”
The tape also celebrated former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf’s resignation, saying he had “swallowed the fruit of his betrayal,” according to Al-Jazeera.
Al-Zawahri also ridiculed Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group for describing their 2006 summer war with Israel as a victory.
“What victory?” he said, according to Al-Jazeera. “Retreating 30 miles backwards?”
Al-Qaida leader, Abu Yahia al-Libi, the movement’s commander in Afghanistan, also appeared praising the exploits of Islamist insurgents in Somalia, saying their numbers were growing.