A Qaeda’s No. 2 Threatens More Attacks
Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy, threatened massive attacks in London and against U.S. troops in Iraq if we don’t change our wicked ways.
Al-Qaida’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, threatened more destruction in London, saying in a videotape broadcast Thursday that British Prime Minister Tony Blair would be to blame. Al-Zawahri also threatened the United States with tens of thousands of military dead if it does not withdraw its troops from Iraq immediately.
In Crawford, Texas, President Bush dismissed the threat, saying, “We will stay on the offense against these people. They’re terrorists and they’re killers and they will kill innocent people … so they can impose their dark vision on the world.”
The tape, aired on the pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera, was delivered exactly one month after the July 7 bombings in London that killed 56 people, including four suicide attackers. In the excerpts aired by Al-Jazeera, al-Zawahri did not directly claim that al-Qaida carried out the July 7 or July 21 attacks. But he brought the July 7 attacks under al-Qaida’s wing and depicted the terror network as still capable of delivering strikes around the world despite arrests in Europe and blows against its leadership in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He presented the attacks as a result of Blair’s decision to deploy troops in Iraq. “Blair has brought to you destruction in central London, and he will bring more of that, God willing,” al-Zawahri said in the broadcast excerpts.
It’s unclear how the 4th of August is exactly one month after the 7th of July, but then I’ve always found the International Date Line a bit confusing.
Regardless, it’s not as if al Qaeda was refraining from attacks before the Iraq War. Claims that they are going to step up attacks if we do not change our policy are therefore absurd. Indeed, one presumes that they would take great confidence from achieving their policy objectives with violence and become emboldened to attack more in hopes of being further rewarded.