Al-Zawahiri Video Recording
On December 23, 2006, Islamist websites posted a 52-minute video featuring the full version of Al-Zawahiri's December 12, 2006 address. The video was produced by Al-Qaeda's production company Al-Sahab, and has English subtitles throughout.
In his address, Al-Zawahiri congratulates the jihad fighters in the various parts of the world, and calls on the Muslim nation to support them and to join the jihad, which he says is the only way to avoid humiliation and to renew the Islamic Caliphate.
Addressing the Palestinians, he calls on them to "stick to their Korans and to their guns," and criticizes Hamas for taking part in the elections, saying that it is jihad, rather than politics, that will eventually bring about the liberation of Palestine. With regards to Afghanistan, Al-Zawahiri says that "America will soon be defeated [there] and will withdraw [its forces]." He also states that the Americans should negotiate with "the real forces in the Islamic world" [i.e. with Al-Qaeda] rather than with other forces in Afghanistan "that will not be [the Americans'] salvation."
Next, Al-Zawahiri threatens the American people, saying: "[You should not] dream of security until we [Muslims] experience it in Palestine." His message to the Muslims is that they must choose between two options: "either to live on the margins of the New World Order... under the influence of the arrogant enemies of Islam... who stick their noses into your domestic and foreign affairs... or to place your trust in Allah... and oppose the arrogant criminals... There is no third option."
Al-Zawahiri concludes his address with specific messages to the Muslims and jihad fighters in Turkey, Kurdistan, Iraq, Somalia, Chechnya and Algeria. He praises the Muslims in Turkey for their "demonstrations against the visit of the liar [Pope] Benedict ," and urges the Kurdish Muslims to oppose the "secular pro-Israeli gang" that is, he states, trying to take control of them using American money. He congratulates the Iraqis on the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq, and to the Somalis he says that the war against them is part of the "Crusader-Zionist assault on Muslims everywhere."
The video can be viewed at http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ClipMediaID=397459&ak=null.
Abu 'Omar Al-Baghdadi Issues an Ultimatum to President Bush
On December 22, 2006, the "Media Ministry of the Islamic State of Iraq" released an audio recording of an address by the leader of the Islamic State, Abu 'Omar Al-Baghdadi. The video, produced by the Ministry's media company Al-Furqan, is titled "Say: Truth Has Come and Falsehood Has Vanished Away [Koran 17:81]."
Al-Baghdadi begins his address by describing the stages in the establishment and consolidation of the Islamic State. Next, he urges the former officers of Saddam Hussein's forces to join the Islamic State's Army, setting two conditions for their acceptance: Firstly, they must know by heart at least three passages from the Koran; secondly, "they must be tested on their knowledge of the creed, in order to make sure that they have relinquished their Ba'thist views..." In return, he declares, these soldiers will receive the same material compensation that the mujahideen now receive.
Al-Baghdadi then proceeds to issue an ultimatum, saying that within a month, all foreign forces must withdraw their soldiers and weapons from Iraq and turn over all their bases to the soldiers of the Islamic State. He adds: "[If you comply], we... will allow you to withdraw without any resistance... of any kind [on our part]... We expect your answer within two weeks of [receiving] this message..." Addressing U.S. President George W. Bush, Al-Baghdadi says: "Do not waste this historic opportunity which offers you [a chance] to withdraw safely, like you wasted the opportunity for a truce that was offered to you by Osama bin Laden. I warn you... do not add fuel to the fire. This [offer can be] your salvation..."
Finally, Al-Baghdadi urges the mujahideen to take part in "the fierce assault upon the Army of the Cross and of Apostasy" which will end on the last days of 'Eid Al-Adha. On December 24, two days after the publication of the recording, the Islamic State of Iraq announced the beginning of this new assault.