Tue, Sep 29, 2009 - Page 6 News List

Al-Qaeda leader praises slain figure in message

REUTERS , DUBAI

Ayman al-Zawahri, al-Qaeda’s No. 2 leader, has issued a new audio message in which he eulogizes Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, whom US forces killed last month, a monitoring group said yesterday.

The Egyptian militant Zawahri, thought to be in hiding in mountainous territory close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, is heard speaking in the 28-minute video, the US-based Intel Center said.

Mehsud was killed by US forces in a strike in the Pakistani region of South Waziristan on Aug. 5.

It was the latest in a flurry of messages from the leaders of al-Qaeda, who masterminded the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Osama bin Laden, the Saudi leader of the Islamist network, urged European nations to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan in a tape issued on Friday.

Last Wednesday, Zawahri appeared in an elaborate 106-minute video production marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, in which he blasted Arab leaders and US President Barack Obama for their policies on Israel.

On Sept. 14, bin Laden “addressed the American people” in an 11 minute-long tape over their government’s ties to Israel.

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