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Al-Qaeda deputy leader calls for more attacks

world Updated: Jul 05, 2007 09:00 IST

Osama bin Laden's right-hand man Ayman al-Zawahiri has issued a vehement video calling for attacks on Western interests worldwide and regime change in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

"The struggle against the corrupt regimes and the corruptors is in two phases. In the short term, one must take aim at the interests of the Crusaders and Jews," Zawahiri said in the 95-minute video from Al-Qaeda's As-Sahab Media.

"All those who have attacked the Islamic nation must pay the price, in our countries and theirs, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Palestine and in Somalia, but above all where one can strike a blow against their interests," he said.

The eighth video released by Zawahiri so far this year, it contains no reference to the foiled car bombing attacks in London and Glasgow.

The Egyptian-born Zawahiri frequently emerges in video or audio tapes to speak for the Al-Qaeda network. With the Al-Qaeda chief now staying out of the public eye, he has become its most senior spokesman as well.

The bearded, bespectacled Zawahiri has a $25-million bounty on his head and officials say he is the Al-Qaeda network's main strategist and ideologist as well as its second-in-command.

"In the long term one must work seriously to change these corrupt regimes and corruptors," said Zawahiri, who spends much of the video titled "The Advice of One Concerned" attacking Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

To achieve that aim "one must win over popular sympathy for a change to Islamic Jihadism," he said, but also emphasising "the necessity of using force to provoke that change.