January 7, 2004 Special Dispatch No. 639

First Audio Recording By Al-Qa'ida Leader in Iraq Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi

January 7, 2004
Iraq | Special Dispatch No. 639

Today, Islamist Internet forums posted an audio recording with the voice of Jordanian citizen and Al-Qa'ida leader Ahmad Al-Khalayla, who is also known as Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi. [1] Al-Zarqawi, who has reportedly been operating from Iraq, is said to have planned the Millennium attacks that were thwarted by Jordan and the attack on the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, for which the State Department offered a five million dollar reward for information leading to his arrest. The following is an overview and excerpts of his speech, which is reportedly the first time that his voice has ever been recorded : [2]

Al-Zarqawi Eulogizes an An-Qa'ida Fighter

Al-Zarqawi's message is divided into three parts. The first, about 30 minutes long, is devoted to Qur'anic verses and Hadiths extolling Jihad and martyrdom.

In the second part, 18 minutes long, Al-Zarqawi mentions his friend Abd Al-Hadi Daghlas, also known as Abu 'Ubayda, who was killed by U.S. forces in Iraq at the beginning of the war.

Al-Zarqawi says: "I will never forget our brothers, the martyrs, who were with us through good and bad, and first and foremost the dear and beloved brother, the living martyr Abu Al-'Ubayda Abd Al-Hadi Daghlas. By Allah, since I was guided by Allah, I never experienced a catastrophe like the loss of this brother. He was a brother I felt small next to because of his courage, devotion, patience, and modesty. Eyes cry for people like Abd Al-Hadi…"

Muslim Clerics 'Did Not Succeed in Bearing the Banner of Jihad'

Later, in the second part, Al-Zarqawi attacks Muslim clerics and accuses them of abandoning the Mujahideen as they "confront the strongest power in the world:

"… You, our clerics, reconciled with the tyrants and handed over the land and the people to the Jews, the Crusaders, and their hangers-on among our apostate rulers when you remained silent about their crimes, feared to preach the truth to them, and did not succeed in bearing the banner of Jihad and monotheism… You abandoned us in the most difficult of circumstances, and you handed us over to our enemy…"

In the third part, Al-Zarqawi continues his attack on Muslim clerics: "… Hundreds of thousands of Muslims were slaughtered by the infidels because of your silence, oh clerics of Islam… Know that you will stand before Allah [on Judgment Day]. Prepare answers for God because He will ask you what you did for the nation. He will ask you about the Mujahideen and whether you supported them. He will ask you about the enemies of the [Muslim] community, and how much you loathed and hated them, [and whether you used] swords and lances, hearts and tongues. Allah will ask you why you did not rescue the prisoners held by the Jews, the Crusaders, and the polytheists. Allah will ask what you did for Afghanistan and for Iraq. Allah will ask why you abandoned Mullah Omar…"

Jihad is the Only Way

Al-Zarqawi further stated, "Oh people, the wheels of war have begun to move; the caller has already declared Jihad and the gates of heaven are open [to the martyrs]. If you are unwilling to be one of the knights of war, make way for the women so they can run the war, and you take the cooking utensils and makeup [brushes] in their stead. If you are not women in turbans and beards, go to the horses and seize their harnesses and their reins…

"Oh Allah, America came with its horses and knights to challenge Allah and his Messenger [Muhammad]… Oh Allah, rend the kingdom of Bush as you rent the kingdom of Caesar… Oh Allah, curse the Arab tyrants and the foreign tyrants; Oh Allah, strike the apostate rulers; Oh Allah, kill them one after the other, sparing none…"

[1] According to the U.S. Rewards for Justice website of Most Wanted Terrorists, "Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi has had a long-standing connection to senior al-Qaida leadership and appears to be highly regarded among al-Qaida and a close associate of Usama Bin Laden and Saif Al-Adel."

[2] Part One:; Part Two:; Part Three:

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