Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Al-Qaeda deputy posts new statement

FEBRUARY 13, 2007
Al-Qaeda's deputy leader has described the US troop build-up in Iraq as a gamble that is bound to fail, while criticising US Democrats for not bringing any change to US policy.

In an audio tape posted on the internet on Tuesday, Ayman al-Zawahiri said the decision of George Bush, the US president, to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq would fail.

"[Bush's] addiction to gambling ... motivates him to continue to place losing bets until he goes completely bankrupt," al-Zawahiri said.

"Were the Americans to leave [Bush] alone, he would continue to send their forces to Iraq until the mujahideen kill the last one of their soldiers."

Al-Zawahiri's statement was transcribed on the web site of the Site Institute, a US private organisation that tracks Islamists' use of the internet.

It was not immediately possible to authenticate the statement.

Democrats criticised

Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda deputy US Democrats, who removed Republicans from power in Congress in November last year amid growing dissatisfaction with policies on Iraq, were also criticised by al-Zawahiri.

"The people chose you [Democrats] due to your opposition to Bush's policy in Iraq, but it appears that you are marching with him to the same abyss, and it appears that you will take part with him in the defeat," the Egyptian said.

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