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ANOTHER al Qaeda Audiotape - Latest from Ayman al Zawahiri

20 January 2006: An audiotape posted on an Islamic website is purportedly that of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second-in-command of al Qaeda’s terror network. Al Zawahiri was the reported target of a U.S. air strike in Pakistan last week.

The 18-minute tape was posted with text that stated that it is “a new speech by Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, may God protect him”.

The message was delivered in the style of classical Arabic poetry, and al Zawahiri praises “the martyrs of the Crusader campaign against Afghanistan.” This audio message was posted a day after Al-Jazeera television broadcast an audiotape by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, warning of pending attacks in the “heartland” of the United States.

“Same intonation, same praises and proses, but different audio segments,” stated one analyst.

21 January 2006: Updated: In a seemingly ever-evolving news story, intelligence analysts now confirm that the 18-minute recording posted on an Internet web site is indeed that of terrorist leader Ayman al Zawahiri. In this audio message, he praises those who were killed in the US air strike in the Damadola village in Pakistan, where US forces reportedly targeted a house they believed al-Zawahiri was in. Previous reports by analysts of the audio message strongly suggested that the message was NOT new, but a new release of a 2001 audio message by al Zawahiri mourning members of al Qaeda who were killed in Afghanistn during 2001. “Same intonation, same praises and proses, but different audio segments,” stated one analyst.

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