In an audio message posted on Islamist websites on November 19, 2008, Al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri criticized U.S. president-elect Barack Obama.
The 11 minute 23 second message, in which the audio plays against a background of still images, is the first statement by an Al-Qaeda official relating to Obama's presidential win.
The following is the transcript, from the message's English subtitles.
"First, a Message of Congratulations to the Muslim Ummah on the American People's Admission Of Defeat In Iraq"
"In the Name of Allah, and all praise is due to Allah, and prayers and peace on the Messenger of Allah and on his family, Companions and allies:
"Muslim brothers everywhere: Peace be upon you and the Mercy of Allah and His blessings. As for what comes after:
"Barack Obama has won the presidency of the United States of America, and on this occasion, I would like to send several messages.
"First, a message of congratulations to the Muslim Ummah on the American people's admission of defeat in Iraq. Although the evidence of America's defeat in Iraq appeared years ago, Bush and his administration continued to be stubborn and deny the brilliant midday sun. If Bush has achieved anything, it is in his transfer of America's disaster and predicament to his successor. But the American people, by electing Obama, declared its anxiety and apprehension about the future towards which the policy of the likes of Bush is leading it, and so it decided to support someone calling for withdrawal from Iraq."
"What You've Announced About How You're Going to Reach an Understanding With Iran and Pull Your Troops Out of Iraq to Send Them to Afghanistan is a Policy... Destined for Failure"
"The second of these messages is to the new president of the United States. I tell him: you have reached the position of president, and a heavy legacy of failure and crimes awaits you. A failure in Iraq to which you have admitted, and a failure in Afghanistan to which the commanders of your army have admitted.
"The other thing to which I want to bring your attention is that what you've announced about how you're going to reach an understanding with Iran and pull your troops out of Iraq to send them to Afghanistan is a policy which was destined for failure before it was born. It appears that you don't know anything about the Muslim Ummah and its history, and the fate of the traitors who cooperated with the invaders against it, and don't know anything about the history of Afghanistan and its free and defiant Muslim people. And if you still want to be stubborn about America's failure in Afghanistan, then remember the fate of Bush and Pervez Musharraf, and the fate of the Soviets and British before them. And be aware that the dogs of Afghanistan have found the flesh of your soldiers to be delicious, so send thousands after thousands to them.
"As for the crimes of America which await you, it appears that you continue to be captive to the same criminal American mentality towards the world and towards the Muslims. The Muslim Ummah received with extreme bitterness your hypocritical statements to and stances towards Israel, which confirmed to the Ummah that you have chosen a stance of hostility to Islam and Muslims."
"You Were Born to a Muslim Father, but You Chose to Stand in the Ranks of the Enemies of the Muslims... in Order to Climb the Rungs of Leadership in America"
"You represent the direct opposite of honorable black Americans like Malik al-Shabazz, or Malcolm X (may Allah have mercy on him). 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, although you claim to be Christian, in order to climb the rungs of leadership in America. And so you promised to back Israel, and you threatened to strike the tribal regions in Pakistan, and to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan, in order for the crimes of the American Crusade in it to continue. And last Monday, your aircraft killed 40 Afghan Muslims at a wedding party in Kandahar.
"As for Malik al-Shabazz (may Allah have mercy on him), he was born to a black pastor killed by white bigots, but Allah favored him with guidance to Islam, and so he prided himself on his fraternity with the Muslims, and he condemned the crimes of the Crusader West against the weak and oppressed, and he declared his support for peoples resisting American occupation, and he spoke about the worldwide revolution against the Western power structure.
"That's why it wasn't strange that Malik al-Shabazz (may Allah have mercy on him) was killed, while you have climbed the rungs of the presidency to take over the leadership of the greatest criminal force in the history of mankind and the leadership of the most violent Crusade ever against the Muslims.
"And in you and in Colin Powell, Rice and your likes, the words of Malcolm X (may Allah have mercy on him) concerning 'House Negroes' are confirmed."
"You Are Neither Facing Individuals nor Organizations, But... a Jihadi Awakening and Renaissance... This is the Fact Which You and Your Government And Country Refuse to Recognize"
"You also must appreciate, as you take over the presidency of America during its Crusade against Islam and Muslims, that you are neither facing individuals nor organizations, but are facing a Jihadi awakening and renaissance which is shaking the pillars of the entire Islamic world; and this is the fact which you and your government and country refuse to recognize and pretend not to see."
"To The Muslim Ummah...: America, the Criminal, Trespassing Crusader, Continues To Be the Same as Ever, So We Must Continue to Harm It"
"As for the third message, it is to the Muslim Ummah. I tell it: America, the criminal, trespassing Crusader, continues to be the same as ever, so we must continue to harm it, in order for it to come to its senses, because its criminal, expansionist Crusader project in your lands has only been neutralized by the sacrifices of your sons, the Mujahideen. This, then, is the path, so stick to it."
"To the Lions of Islam, The Mujahideen...: Your Enemy's Stagger Has Begun, So Don't Stop Hitting Him"
"As for the fourth message, it is to the lions of Islam, the Mujahideen. I tell them: may Allah reward you in the best way for your historic heroics, which have ruined America's plans and rendered its projects ineffective. So be firm and resolute. Your enemy's stagger has begun, so don't stop hitting him.
"And I say to my brothers the Mujahideen in Iraq in general and the Islamic State of Iraq in particular, and to its Amir, the towering mountain Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi: your enemy has admitted defeat, and the forthcoming stage is expected to be dominated by conspiracies and betrayals in order to cover the American withdrawal, so you must persevere, for victory is in an hour of perseverance.
"And I tell my brothers, the lions of Islam in Somalia: rejoice in victory and conquest. America is gathering its wounds in Iraq, and Ethiopia is looking for a way out, and for this reason, the stage of conspiracies and machinations has begun. So hold tightly to the truth for which you have given your lives, and don't put down your weapons before the Mujahid state of Islam and Tawheed has been set up in Somalia.
"And I tell all Mujahideen everywhere: the Hubal of the age has begun to falter and recede, and Allah has granted you success and honored you by making you the most important cause of that, so be resolute on the path of Jihad until you meet your Lord while He is pleased with you."
"America Has Put On a New Face, But Its Heart Full Of Hate, Mind Drowning In Greed, And Spirit Which Spreads Evil, Murder, Repression And Despotism Continue To Be the Same As Always"
"And my fifth message is to all the world's weak and oppressed. I tell them: America has put on a new face, but its heart full of hate, mind drowning in greed, and spirit which spreads evil, murder, repression and despotism continue to be the same as always. And the Mujahideen of Islam, by the grace of Allah, continue to be the spearhead of the resistance against it to restrain it from injustice, aggression and arrogance.
"As for my final message, it is to the American people. I tell it: you incurred defeat and losses from the foolish actions of Bush and his gang, and at the same time, Shaykh Usama bin Ladin (may Allah preserve him) sent you a message to withdraw from the lands of the Muslims and refrain from stealing their treasures and interfering in their affairs. So choose for yourself whatever you like, and bear the consequences of your choice, and as you judge, you will be judged.
"And our final prayer is that all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and may Allah send prayers and peace on our Master Muhammad and his family and Companions."