The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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9/11: Must be Qaida
- On anniversary, Zawahri keeps date with West & threatens economic doom

Dubai, Sept. 11 (Reuters): Deputy al Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri warned in a video aired on the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks that US allies Israel and the Gulf Arab states would be the next targets in a campaign that would seal the West’s economic doom.

Zawahri said in remarks apparently addressed to western leaders: “I tell them do not bother yourselves with defending your forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. These forces are doomed to failure.

“You have to bolster your defences in two areas ... the first is the Gulf, from which you will be evicted, God willing, after your defeat in Iraq and then your economic doom will be achieved,” he said in the video broadcast in part on the al Jazeera television channel.

“And the next (target) is Israel. The current of holy war is closing on it and your end there will put an end to the Zionist-crusader supremacy.”

Zawahri in the al Qaida video. (Reuters)

Zawahri also condemned UN forces in Lebanon as “enemies of Islam”, the first implicit threat against the international peacekeeping detachment. Zawahri’s warning of attacks in the Gulf, the world’s top oil exporting region, follows previous calls by al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden to target oil facilities to cripple the West.

Al Qaida has also in the past branded US-allied governments in West Asia as infidels and traitors, and has used these links with the West to justify their attacks. US officials have yet to authenticate the videotape.

“Basically, what we have is a propaganda tape — obviously timed to reach the media around 9/11 — from a brutal and duplicitous organisation that primarily kills fellow Muslims and wreaks havoc in the Muslim world,” said a US intelligence official.

He dismissed any suggestion that the message could foreshadow new attacks as“speculative”.

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