The Latest from al Qaeda Terrorist Osama bin Laden: A Summary Analysis

A Eulogy to a dead terrorist and a warning that “Jihad” will continue and expand

30 June 2006: Late yesterday, Al Jazeera Network released the latest message from terrorist leader Osama bin Laden who eulogizes the much-dead al Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s operations in Iraq (deceased compliments of a precision U.S. bombing strike on his hide-out north of Baghdad on 7 June 2006). Described by bin Laden as the “Lion of Jihad,” bin Laden speaks to U.S. President George Bush, who he bills as the “Pharaoh of the Ages,” about the status and intent of the al Qaeda organization. The video message, produced by al-Qaeda’s propaganda wing As Sabah, has a 19 minute 32 second run time and plays the voice of bin Laden over split video screen containing a still image of bin Laden alongside video clips of al Zarqawi. Osama bin Laden warns that al-Qaeda will continue to fight the US and its allies across the world. Addressing US president George W Bush, bin Laden called on US forces to return the body of Jordanian-born Zarqawi to his family and demanded that Jordan’s King Abdullah should allow the militant’s funeral to take place in his home town: “I say to Bush, you should deliver the body [of Abu Musab al Zarqawi] to his family, and also warned:

Do not be too happy because the banner of al Qaeda in Iraq did not fall, but has passed from one lion of Islam to another. We will continue, God willing, to fight you and your allies everywhere in Iraq and Afghanistan and Somalia and Sudan until we exhaust your money and kill your men, and you return your country to defeat as we defeated you before in Somalia.

Earlier this month a video message purporting to be from al-Qaida’s second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri was broadcast, in which he vowed that Zarqawi’s death would be avenged.. Combined with this latest message from bin Laden and considering that both Ayman al Zawahiri and bin Laden chose to eulogize Zarqawi in public broadcasts serves to underscore the importance of al Zarqawi’s role within the Al Qaeda organization, who has achieved “superhero status” among many Islamic jihad recruits.

Considering the attrition of top-ranking al Qaeda leaders not eulogized in this manner, the latest message indicates the significant role of Zarqawi’s al Qaeda operations in Iraq, his role in the implementation and operation of al Qaeda terrorist training camps on Iraqi soil, and the pre-existing relationship between bin Laden and Zarqawi prior to the 9/11 attacks inside the U.S.

Osama bin laden pointedly defended Zarqawi’s murder of Iraqis who cooperated with US-led forces against Muslims. He stated: “Abu Musab had clear instructions to focus his fight on the occupiers, particularly the Americans and to leave aside anyone who remains neutral. But for those who refused neutrality and fought on the side of the ‘crusaders’ against the Muslims, then he should kill them whoever they are, regardless of their sect or tribe. For supporting infidels against Muslims is a major sin,” added bin Laden.

If the voice is authenticated by US intelligence officials as being that of bin Laden, it would be the fourth audio message released by bin Laden this year.

RELATED: Many have wondered how such al Qaeda messages are recorded, and how they manage to make their way from the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan (or Iran) to the offices of al Jazeera. A report from the Associated Press chronicles the exploits of one cameraman who has reportedly taken part in this process. You can read about his exploits AT THIS EXTERNAL LINK.