The following are excerpts from an interview with Al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, conducted on the fourth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks and posted on the Internet on December 7, 2005. While some excerpts from the video appeared in September on Al-Jazeera TV , the full 40-minute version was only recently posted online and much of the video has never been seen before.
"The New Crusader Campaign is Failing"
Written text: "Four years after the New York and Washington raids, Al-Sahab interviews Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al-Sahab Media Production, Sha'ban 1426 [September 2005]"
Interviewer: "We are happy to interview you four years after the New York and Washington raids."
Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri: "I, too, am happy to address our Muslim nation through you in this critical stage of its history. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, and pray that Allah will reward you for publicizing the word of truth in the midst of the Crusader campaign and global war that is being waged against Islam and the Muslims."
Interviewer: "Dr. Ayman, how do you view the Crusader campaign, four years after it began?"
Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri: "The new Crusader campaign is failing, just like the previous ones, by the grace of Allah. America and its Crusader allies have not accomplished a thing, except for throwing its army into the battlefield to take blows on a daily basis, to have its soldiers killed on a daily basis, and to have its economy bled on a daily basis.
"What did they accomplish in Afghanistan? They removed the Taliban government from Kabul, and it settled in the villages and mountains, where the real power of Afghanistan lies. Northern Afghanistan and Kabul have become a scene of chaos, pillaging, looting, defiling [women's] honor, and drug dealing, which have flourished under the American occupation. Then they held elections, which resembled a masquerade more than anything, since the country's periphery is controlled by highway bandits and warlords, since the international committees monitoring the elections - or rather, those who bear false witness - could not cover more than ten voting districts, even if they wanted to. Transferring the ballot boxes takes 15 days, under the control of the warlords and highway bandits, and then under the control of the occupation forces, and since any resistance, or anything resembling resistance or opposition, is met with bombardment, missiles, the burning of villages, and the killing of hundreds."
The Siege in Iraq Profited U.N. Officials and the Son of Kofi Annan
"After all this, they obtained the false testimony of the U.N., which had seen nothing about which it could bear witness - except for several theatrics in a few voting districts in the cities. This is one example of the hypocrisy of the U.N., which they claim to be the symbol of their international legitimacy.
"While the U.N. rejects the elections held in Zimbabwe, for example, because the time dedicated to voting was insufficient, it is as silent as a graveyard about the elections in Afghanistan, which were held under the terrorism of the warlords. For 15 days, the ballot boxes were passed around among the highway bandits and the American collaborators, and no one knows what happened to them before they appeared at the ballot-counting centers.
"While the U.N. whines about those killed in Darfur and established an international tribunal for the war crimes committed there, it was as silent as a graveyard about the tragedy of one million Iraqi children, who died as a result of the siege on Iraq - the same siege that profited U.N. officials and the son of Kofi Annan, as the U.N. itself admits. The U.N. was recently forced to reveal a part of this scandal, the stench of which spreads far and wide.
"It was as silent as a graveyard when the Taliban was betrayed - after an agreement was signed with them - at the hands of the Americans and Dostum in Kunduz. Then [the Taliban] were murdered in Qala-i-Jangi, and later they were suffocated in container trucks en route to Shiberghan prison. Then they were treated worse than animals in Shiberghan prison. Yet Lakhdar al-Ibrahimi declares that the issue of Qala-i-Jangi is sensitive, and should not be opened now.
"In complete collaboration it remains silent about what goes on in Abu Ghureib, Guantanamo, and Bagram, and about the way the Al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners are treated. They disappear from the face of the earth, and nobody knows anything about them, nor does anybody dare to ask where they are, what has been done to them, where they were arrested and tortured, and why, until when, where, and how they will be held in prison."
"The U.N. is Part of the Crusader Kingdom"
"Where are the international agreements and U.N. treaties? What about human rights - or even animal rights? This is all because the U.N. is part of the Crusader kingdom, over which reigns the Caesar in Washington, who pays the salaries of Kofi Annan and his ilk.
"This is what they have accomplished to this day in Afghanistan. In Kabul, their [allies] are terrified, and their president cannot leave his office. If he goes to Kandahar, he faces assassination attempts. If his plane lands in Gardez, missiles catch up with it. Forged elections... Crusader forces led by America taking blows on a daily basis... An almost complete media blackout... Pakistani collaboration... Despite all this, America was forced to admit the strength of the resistance it faces, and to admit that the Taliban is still the strongest force in Afghanistan.
"Brothers, I tell you - and the Crusaders and their apostate collaborators cannot refute it - that were it not for the continuous support the Pakistani army gives the Americans, they would have left a long time ago - and they will leave soon, Allah willing.
"As for Iraq, what have they accomplished apart from losses and defeats? They established a government through ridiculous elections, boycotted by half of the people. Fake voters kept flowing through the borders, while the American planes observed from the skies to eradicate any opposition. Abu Ghureib and similar prisons swallow up the free and the honorable.
"At the end, the U.N., as usual, sends it congratulations for the clean and fair elections. The National Guard, the police, and the security forces bear the burden of dealing with the resistance to the Americans. There is an independent [Kurdish] state in the north, which is infiltrated by Jewish intelligence agencies, and which is divided between two collaborating political parties that fight over every little thing, and agree only on secularism and on the need to fight Islam, under the American banner."
"There is a Government [in Iraq] That Begs the Americans Not to Leave, Because They Know That the Day the Americans Leave Will Be Their Last"
"Had Saladin vanquished them today, we would have put them to the sword. [Shi'ite] movements attempting to sever the south purport to belong to Islam, yet they agreed with the Americans, led by Bush the Crusader, to occupy Iraq. There is a government [in Iraq] that begs the Americans not to leave, because they know that the day the Americans leave will be their last.
"With the grace of Allah, the clear declaration of their failure came one day after the blessed raid on London, when the American and English declared they were preparing to leave Iraq. Every day they leak to the press another item about leaving Iraq, in order to calm the terror that has taken hold of their peoples."
Bin Laden Still Leads the Jihad
Interviewer: "Dr. Ayman, what is the state of Qaeda Al-Jihad after four years of ferocious war against it?"
Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri: "With the grace of Allah, Qaeda Al-Jihad remains a base [qaeda] for jihad. And for the grace of Allah and no one else, its Emir, Sheikh Osama bin Laden, may Allah protect him, still leads the jihad.
"All those lies with which Bush tries to deceive the Americans - that he has eradicated half of Al-Qaeda or three-quarters of Al-Qaeda - it's all nonsense that exists only in his head. With the grace of Allah.
"I proclaim to all Muslims and all mujahideen that, by the grace of Allah, Al-Qaeda is spreading, growing, and becoming stronger. By the grace of Allah, it has become a popular and pioneering organization, confronting the new Zionist-Crusader campaign, in defense of all the plundered Muslim lands, and fighting all the apostate and collaborating regimes that rule our Muslim nation.
"From all Muslim countries, people join Al-Qaeda, which confronts the infidels, apostates, traitors, and collaborators, wherever they may be, with weapons, with fighting, with da'wa, and with argumentation. Allah be praised.
Interviewer: "How do you view the jihad movement in general?"
Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri: "The jihad movement is growing and rising. It reached its peak with the two blessed raids on New York and Washington. Now it is waging a great historic battle in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and even within the Crusaders' own homes.
"The latest raid on the Crusaders' homes was the blessed raid on London, which was a slap in the face to British Crusader arrogance, after the mujaheed lion of Islam, Sheikh Osama bin Laden, may Allah protect him, had offered the peoples of the West a truce, if they leave the countries of Islam, but their arrogance drove them to crime, and their conceited foreign secretary, Jack Straw, said that these proposals should be treated with contempt. So let them pay the price of their government's filth and arrogance.
"Whoever attacks us - with the help of Allah, we cut off his hand, and whoever acts with insolence towards us will pay the price of his filth.
"The Crusader West had decided to follow Bush and Blair in their aggression against the Muslims. So they should pay the price for this aggression. They should endure it, because the war is still in its first skirmishes."
Interviewer: "How do you view the situation in Afghanistan?"
Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri: "In Afghanistan, America is being dragged to the same abyss in which the U.S.S.R. fell, but much faster. America is keeping most of its casualties in Afghanistan secret, although the simple media of the mujahideen exposes their lies, and publicizes their casualties. America will leave Afghanistan, Allah willing, just like the Soviets, and Allah willing, it will be afflicted by the same disasters that afflicted the Soviet Union after it left Afghanistan."
"Pakistan is the Main Supporter of the Crusader Campaign Against Afghanistan"
Interviewer: "Dr. Ayman, after the recent operations of the Pakistani army in north Waziristan, after the kidnapping of civilians and the killing of more than 18 women and children from the muhajireen, and after the siege on the religious schools, and the killing of their students - what is your message to the Muslim nation in Pakistan in general and to anyone with a trace of faith remaining in his heart, in the Pakistani army in particular?"
Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri: "I say to them that Pakistan is the main supporter of the Crusader campaign against Afghanistan.
"Today, the Pakistani army plays the same role that the British Indian army used to play in the aggression against the Muslims in India, and in quelling the Muslim uprisings in the British colonies. Today, the Pakistani army operates as a private institution, serving the interests of Bush and Musharraf pockets the reward. The Pakistani army has abandoned the mission of defending Pakistan, and is devoting itself to killing the Muslims in Waziristan, in defense of the American army.
"As for the defense of Pakistan - Musharraf has claimed that America would defend him, if the Pakistani army devotes itself to serving Bush's interests. Therefore, if this policy continues, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Pakistani army surrendering to the Indian army in Islamabad, like it has surrendered in Dhaka.
"Musharraf wants a Pakistan without Islam. This is why they destroyed the Islamic schools, and they are inventing a new religion, which they composed for him in America. They call this fairy-tale 'enlightened moderation.'"
Interviewer: "More than four years have passed since America began its campaign to destroy Al-Qaeda and Taliban. So far, despite all America's capabilities and despite all the Pakistani help, America has not succeeded in capturing Mulla Muhammad Omar or Sheikh Osama bin Laden may Allah protect them both. What is the reason, in your opinion? "
Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri: "The main reason is Allah's protection, which is incomprehensible to the Americans and to the materialistic Crusader West. The second reason, which stems from the first, that the Muslim masses opened their hearts and home to the mujahideen, gave them refuge and protected them, exposed their children, families, property, and homes to bombings and burning and risked being killed or captured, for the sake of Allah, in support of Islam, and in defense of the mujahideen.
"Jihad for the sake of Allah is greater than any individual or organization. It is a struggle between Truth and Falsehood, until Allah inherits the earth and all who live on it. Mullah Muhammad Omar and Sheikh Osama bin Laden, may Allah protect them from all evil, are merely two soldiers of Islam in the journey of jihad, while the struggle between Truth and Falsehood transcends time."
Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri: Focus Attacks on Oil in Order to Save Resource for the Muslim Nation
"I call upon the mujahideen to focus their attacks on the stolen oil of the Muslims. Most of its revenue goes to the enemies of Islam, and most of what they leave is plundered by the thieves who rule our countries. This is the greatest theft in the history of humanity. The enemies of Islam are consuming this vital resource with unparalleled greed. We must stop this theft any way we can, in order to save this resource for the sake of the Muslim nation.
"If the only way to repel these thieves is by killing them, they should be killed without honor."