Wednesday, November 19, 2008

al-Qaeda leader posts message to Obama

Ayman al Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s second in command, has weighed in to criticise President-elect Barack Obama. In the taped message he called Obama a “house-negro” a derogatory term, gleaned from Malcolm X, for a black man who sides with whites [You Tube - Malcolm X]. During his audio address he claimed Barack Obama’s plans in Afghanistan would fail. "What you have announced before ... that you will withdraw [US] troops from Iraq [and send them] to Afghanistan is a policy that is doomed to failure," al-Zawahiri said. "If you still want to be stubborn about America's failure in Afghanistan, then remember the fate of Bush and [Pakistan's former president] Pervez Musharraf, and the fate of the Soviets and British before them," al-Zawahiri added. In another part of the tape, al-Zawahiri scorned Obama for turning away from Islam. “You were born to a Muslim father, but you chose to stand in the ranks of the enemies of the Muslims, and pray the prayer of the Jews” the al-Qaeda militant said.

The message which appeared on several Islamic websites was made available to media organisations by the SITE Institute, a US organisation that monitors Islamic groups. Author Ron Suskind, speaking on CNN, said the message was “not as coherent as previous tapes” and described it as an “own goal” in as much as Obama is one man who understands Muslims more than any previous American president. He said some were surprised that there was not a taped message or terror attack leading up to the election, but that this was al-Qaeda’s attempt to gain attention from the new administration. Daniel Benjamin, a former counter terrorist expert told CNN the tape was relevant if only for its timing. CNN’s Kelly Arena speaking on the Situation Room described it as “ugly” but Barack Obama has not commented on the tape. However, on last week’s 60 minutes broadcast on CBS, the President-elect said, “it’s time to stamp out al-Qaeda once and for all” [BBC / CNN / al-Jazeera]

No comments: