Al-Qaeda marks 9/11 with a new propaganda video

NEW WARNING: In the new video, Ayman al-Zawahri defended the `legitimacy' of the Sept. 11 attacks and hinted at future attacks in the Persian Gulf and Israel


Tue, Sep 12, 2006 - Page 1

Al-Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, urged Muslims to intensify their resistance against the US and warned of new terror strikes in a video aired by CNN early yesterday on the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. It was the latest in a flurry of al-Qaeda videos released ahead of the anniversary.

"You gave us every legitimacy and every opportunity to continue fighting you," al-Zawahri said, addressing the US, which appeared to be new. "You should worry about your presence in the [Persian] Gulf, and the second place you should worry about is Israel."

The bespectacled al-Zawahri was dressed in white and seated in front of a wall of bookshelves.

"Your leaders are hiding from you the true extent of the disaster," he said. "And the days are pregnant and giving birth to new events, with Allah's permission and guidance."

Al-Zawahri referred to Israel's bombardment of Lebanon this summer and the capture of Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah and Palestinian militants in Gaza. Osama bin Laden's deputy criticized the West for supplying Israel with weapons, and called on the Muslim world "to rush with everything at its disposal to the aid of its Muslim brothers in Lebanon and Gaza."

The video could not be located by The Associated Press on any militant Web sites that normally carry messages and videos from al-Zawahri and other al-Qaeda figures. As-Sahab, the terror network's media arm, posted notices late on Sunday that the video would be posted shortly but it was not yet available early yesterday.

It was unclear where CNN obtained the video. The network quoted a counterterrorism expert as saying the video had appeared on the Web site for As-Sahab, but the production company normally uses other Islamic Web sites to post its material. The SITE Institute, an organization that monitors militant Web sites, later said it too had obtained a copy of the video.

Late on Sunday, another videotape posted on the Internet, purportedly by al-Qaeda, showed previously unseen footage of a smiling bin Laden and other commanders in a mountain camp apparently planning the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

That tape's documentary-like retrospective of the five years since the attacks was unusually long -- 91 minutes, split into two segments -- and sophisticated in its production quality compared with previous al-Qaeda videos. The footage -- with English subtitles -- surfaced on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the attacks on a Web site that frequently airs messages from bin Laden's terror network.

"Planning for Sept. 11 did not take place behind computer monitors or radar screens, nor inside military command and control centers, but was surrounded with divine protection in an atmosphere brimming with brotherliness ... and love for sacrificing life," an unidentified narrator said.

The video released on Sunday showed the al-Qaeda leader meeting with colleagues in a mountain camp believed to be in Afghanistan, as well as video clips of US Vice President Dick Cheney defending his old job at the oil company Halliburton, and US President George W. Bush at his inauguration.