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Zawahiri urges boycott over Prophet cartoons

Zawahri said offences against Prophet Mohammad were part of a "crusader" campaign led by the US.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2006 04:45 IST

Al Qaeda's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri called for strikes on the West similar to attacks in recent years on New York, Washington, Madrid and London, according to an audio tape posted on the Internet on Saturday.

The speaker on a the tape, who sounded like Zawahri also urged Muslims to boycott Denmark, Norway, France and Germany over cartoons deemed offensive to Prophet Mohammad, referring to cartoons first published in a Danish newspaper.

Ayman al-Zawahri said offences against Prophet Mohammad were part of a "crusader" campaign led by the United States, according tothe audio tape.

"An example of the hatred of the crusaders led By America ... are the repeated offences against the personality of the Prophet Mohammad, may peace be upon him," said the speaker who sounded like Zawahri.

The authenticity of the tape could not be verified but it was posted on a main Web site used by Islamist groups.

Saturday's tape came as US President George W Bush concluded a visit to Pakistan, where Zawahri and Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden are believed to be hiding.

Zawahri, in a tape aired by the Qatar-based Al Jazeera satellite channel in January, blasted Bush as a "butcher" and said a recent US air strike in Pakistan targeting him had killed only innocent people.

First Published: Mar 05, 2006 03:14 IST