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memri
August 3, 2005 No.
950

Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri on Al-Jazeera: ‘Oh Americans, What You Have Seen in New York and Washington, and the Casualties You Witness in Afghanistan and in Iraq… Are Nothing but the Casualties of the Initial Clashes’

The following are excerpts from an interview with Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri [1], which aired today on Al-Jazeera TV. To view this clip, visit http://memritv.org/clip/en/791.htm.

It is followed by other Al-Zawahiri clips, and their transcripts, that have been aired in the past year.

August 4, 2005

Al-Zawahiri: "As for the English, I say to them: Blair has brought destruction upon you, to the center of London, and he will have more of it, Allah willing. Oh the peoples of the Crusader coalition, we have offered you, at least, to stop your aggression against the Muslims. We have offered you... The lion of Islam, the mujaheed Sheik Osama bin Laden, may Allah protect him, has offered you a truce, so you will leave the lands of Islam. Did Sheik Osama bin Laden not tell you that you could not dream of security before we live it as a reality in Palestine and before all the infidel armies leave the land of Muhammad? But you have made rivers of blood in our countries, so we blew up volcanoes of rage in your countries. Our message to you is clear and unequivocal: You will not be saved unless you withdraw from our land, stop stealing our oil and our resources, and cease your support of the corrupt (Arab) rulers.

[...]

"Oh Americans, what you have seen in New York and Washington, and the casualties you witness in Afghanistan and in Iraq, despite all the media blackout, are nothing but the casualties of the initial clashes. If you continue the same policy of aggression against the Muslims, you will see, Allah willing, horrors that will make you forget what you saw in Afghanistan... I mean, in Vietnam.

[...]

"A fact that Bush, Rice and Rumsfeld conceal from you is that there is no way out of Iraq, other than immediate withdrawal, and that any delay in making this decision means nothing but more dead and casualties. If you don't leave today, you will definitely leave tomorrow, but with tens of thousands of dead, and many more crippled and wounded. The same lies they said about Vietnam, they repeat today about Iraq. Did they not say that they would train the Vietnamese to manage their own affairs, and that they defend freedom in Vietnam?"

June 17, 2005

The following are excerpts from a February 20, 2005 video on Al-Jazeera TV. To View this clip visit http://memritv.org/clip/en/717.htm.

Al-Zawahiri: "True reform is based on three principles:

"The first principle is the rule of Shari'a [Islamic law], because Shari'a, which was given by God, protects the believers' interests, freedom, honor, and pride, and protects what is sacred to them. The Islamic nation will not accept any other law, after it has suffered from the anti-Islamic trends forcefully imposed on it.

"The second principle of reform is the freedom of the lands of Islam. No reform is conceivable while our countries are occupied by the Crusader forces, which are spread throughout our countries. No reform is conceivable while the Crusader forces are stationed in our countries [where they] enjoy support, supplies, and storage facilities, and go forth from our countries to attack our brothers and sisters in other Islamic countries. No reform is conceivable while our governments are controlled by the American embassies, which stick their noses into all our affairs.

"The third principle of reform is the Muslim nation's freedom to run its own affairs. This [principle of] reform will only be realized in two ways. First, freedom of the independent religious judicial system, the implementation of its rulings, and the guaranteeing of its honor, authority, and strength. Second, the freedom and the right of the Islamic nation to implement the principle of 'promoting virtue and preventing vice.'

"I would also like to stress that the expulsion of the invading Crusader and Jews from the lands of Islam will not be accomplished merely through demonstrations and hoarse throats in the streets. Reform and expelling the invaders from the lands of Islam will only be accomplished by fighting for the sake of Allah.

"Allah said: 'Fight them until all strife ceases and religion is professed for the pleasure of Allah alone.' He also said: 'Fight them, and Allah will punish them at your hands and will humiliate them, and will help you to overcome them, and will relieve the minds of the believers.'

"I salute my brothers, the lions of Islam, who are on the holy front of Islam around Jerusalem. I call upon them in the name of Allah not to abandon their Jihad, not to throw down their weapons, not to believe the counsel of the collaborators, not to forget the lessons of history, not to trust the secularists who have sold Palestine cheaply, and not to be drawn into the secular game of elections in accordance with a secular constitution."

February 20, 2005

The following are excerpts from a February 20, 2005 video on Al-Jazeera TV. To view this clip, go to http://memritv.org/clip/en/565.htm.

Al-Zawahiri: "These days we are marking three years since the transportation of the first group of Muslim prisoners was sent to the Guantanamo prison, after thousands were doublecrossed in Mazar-e-Sharif, despite an agreement with them. They were crushed by air strikes in the Jangi fortress after refusing to surrender.

"One might ask why so much attention is paid to Guantanamo, while our [Arab] countries are full of thousands of Guantanamos under American supervision and monitoring? The answer, in my opinion - and only Allah knows - is that Guantanamo exposes the truth underlying the reform and democracy that the US claims to be spreading in our countries. This reform will be based on American prisons, such as Bagram, Kandahar, Guantanamo, and Abu-Ghuraib. It will be based on cluster bombs, missiles, and appointing people like Karazai and 'Allawi.

"Oh the peoples of the West, if you think that these fake governments will protect you against our responses, you are delusional. Your true security is in cooperation with the Islamic nation based on mutual respect and ceasing aggression. As for your new Crusade, with Allah's help, it will end in the same defeat as the earlier Crusades – but only after you incur tens of thousands of dead, your economy is ruined, and after you are humiliated in the pages of history."

November 29, 2004

The following are excerpts from a November 29, 2004 video on Al-Jazeera TV. To view this clip, go to http://memritv.org/clip/en/388.htm.

Al-Zawahiri: "These days, the U.S. is playing the election game in America, Afghanistan, and Iraq. As for the US elections, the two candidates compete over placating Israel. That is, they compete over the crime against the Muslim nation that has been going on in Palestine for 87 years. This proves that there is no solution with America except to forcefully make it submit to justice.

"Ahmad Shawqi said: 'If you counter evil with goodness you cannot defeat it, [but] when you counter evil with evil, it will be cut off.' We say to the American nation: 'Elect whoever you want, Bush, Kerry, or Satan himself.' We don't care. We care about purifying our country of the aggressors and resisting anyone who attacks us, violates our holy places, or steals our resources.

"Here is a piece of advice for America that I must offer, even though I know they won't listen: You must choose one of two paths in your treatment of the Muslims. Either you treat them with dignity and [based on] mutual interests, or you treat them as fair game in war, as land to be stolen, and as holy places to be desecrated. This is your problem, and you must make your own choice. You must know that we are a nation of endurance and perseverance, and, Allah willing, we will remain steadfast fighting you until Judgment Day.

"In order to be a nation graced with endurance and perseverance, we must understand a number of important facts: The first is that the fall of Baghdad is, in fact, the fall of all the regimes that relinquished Jihad and assisted the invasion of Iraq. Even those that did not fall publicly fell long ago, with no noise, clatter of guns,, or bombardment. Those not captured by the Crusading forces today are expected to become their targets tomorrow.

"The second fact is that Baghdad was not occupied on April 9, 2003 – it fell long before. It fell when Khedive Tawfiq sought the help of the British to restore him to the throne of Egypt in exchange for Egypt's occupation; when Sharif Hussein agreed with the British on a rebellion against the country of the Caliphate [the Ottoman Empire]; or when 'Abd Al-'Aziz Aal Sa'ud agreed to be under American protection… British authority and later American; and when the Arabs accepted the armistice agreement [with Israel] in 1949. Afterwards, the Arabs continued to deteriorate from one agreement to the other, until Oslo and the Quartet's 'road map.'"

September 9, 2004

The following are excerpts from a September 9, 2004 video on Al-Jazeera TV. To view this clip, go to http://memritv.org/clip/en/250.htm.

Al-Zawahiri: "Eastern and southern Afghanistan are now a field that is entirely open for the Mujahideen. The hypocrites have cloistered themselves within the districts' capitals, and the Americans are hiding in their trenches and refuse to come out to face the Mujahideen even though the Mujahideen provoke them by shelling and shooting, and by cutting off the roads around them.

"Their defense focuses on aerial bombardment that wastes U.S. money and creates only dust.

"In Kabul, the Americans and the peacekeeping forces are burned by the shells of the Mujahideen, and they anticipate martyrdom operations at any time, Allah willing.

"In Muslim Iraq, the Mujahideen have foiled U.S. plans, after the feebleness of the interim government was exposed. America's [ultimate] defeat in Iraq and in Afghanistan has, Allah willing, become a question of time.

"In both countries, the Americans are trapped between two conflagrations. If they stay, they will bleed to death, and if they retreat, they will lose everything."


[1] For more on Zawahiri, see Inquiry & Analysis No. 127, "Radical Islamist Profiles (3): Ayman Muhammad Rabi' Al-Zawahiri: The Making of an Arch Terrorist," by Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli, Radical Islamist Profiles (3): Ayman Muhammad Rabi' Al-Zawahiri: The Making of an Arch Terrorist