Al-Qaeda holy war to continue: Zawahiri
In a recently released videotape, the Al-Qaeda number two called Zarqawi a prince of martyrs.india Updated: Jun 24, 2006 10:37 IST
The second-in-command of Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, said in a videotape that the terrorist organisation's "holy war" would continue even if their leader Osama bin Laden is killed.
Al-Zawahiri also called Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed by a US air strike on June 7, a soldier, a hero and a prince of martyrs.
The videotaped statement was broadcast by the Al-jazeera channel on Friday.
It was the first time Al-Qaeda acknowledged the death of al-Zarqawi, Al-jazeera said at its website.
The videotape showed al-Zawahiri wearing a white robe and black turban, standing in front of a picture of a smiling al-Zarqawi over his shoulder.
Hussain Shaaban, an Iraqi writer and researcher, told Aljazeera that al-Zarqawi's death has significantly affected Al-Qaeda in Iraq and the videotape was meant to raise the morale of Al-Qaeda members and their supporters in the country.
Al-Zawahiri said US President George W Bush is lying when he says the death of bin Laden would bring victory because there is not just one person opposing the US, but an entire Muslim nation that is prepared for holy war.
"America will not dream in security until security has become a reality in Palestine and the other Muslim countries," al-Zawahiri said.
The Al-Qaeda leader also called Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki a collaborator who is working with the crusaders. He also said that the US Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, was an infidel.