May 25th, 2007 12:30 EST
Al-Jazirah Carries Video Remarks by 'New' Al-Qa'ida Official in Afghanistan
Al-Jazirah Satellite Channel Television in Arabic at 1201 GMT on 24 May carries the following announcer-read report over video: Al-Jazirah has obtained video footage of a person called Mustafa Abu-al-Yazid, who presents himself as the general official [Al-Mas'ul al-Amm] of the Al-Qa'ida Organization in Afghanistan. In this videotape, Abu-al-Yazid affirms that Al-Qa'ida fighters received training during the winter to launch major attacks during this season. He adds that Arab fighters from Al-Qai'da are working side by side in these attacks with non-Arab fighters, and that they are enjoying the support of the Afghans in what he described as the Islamic emirate in Afghanistan.
[Recording begins] The situation of jihad in Afghanistan is going from good to better by the grace of God Almighty. The mujahidin's strikes against the Americans, NATO, and the agent governor are continuously increasing. God enabled the mujahidin in winter to train their soldiers and unify their ranks in preparation for swooping down on the tyrant enemy during this present season, which, God willing, will be a season of conquer and victory for the mujahidin and a season of vanquishing, defeat, and disappointment for the crusaders and their apostate helpers, as noted by Commander of the Faithful Mullah Muhammad Umar, may God save his soul.
Thanks to God, the mujahidin of the Islamic emirate are continuously increasing in number and their support by Muslims inside Afghanistan is almost full, particularly in the southern and eastern provinces. This support was manifested when Muslims realized the big difference between the agent government and that of the Islamic emirate, especially following the spread of injustice, bribery, corruption, insolence, lack of security and safety, killing, destruction, and prisons. This is in addition to the plantation of drugs and the increasing poverty and deprivation, all of which have come through the blessings of Mr Bush -- sorry -- Bush the liar and his servant Karzai, the puppet. I would like to bring good tidings to the Islamic nation, which is that there are hundreds of volunteers for martyrdom operations in Afghanistan, particularly Afghan citizens. [Recording ends]
Al-Shayib introduces Muntasir al-Zayyat, an Egyptian researcher and expert in Islamic groups' affairs, via satellite from Cairo, to comment on the video excerpt that was carried.
[Al-Shayib] Mr Al-Zayyat. First, what do you know about Mustafa Abu-al-Yazid?
[Al-Zayyat] There is nothing that is worth mentioning about Mustafa Abu-al-Yazid and we cannot classify him as being one of the well-known leaders that rotated within Al-Qa'ida during at least the past ten years; that is, since the date the Taliban Movement took power in Afghanistan in 1996 and until today. He is not one of the well-known leaders.
[Al-Shayib] This could urge asking another question related to the standards used in selecting what they are called commanders of the Al-Qa'ida Organization in different countries, such as Afghanistan for instance?
[Al-Zayyat] He must certainly be known at the Al-Qa'ida and the jihadist organizational level, because nobody can assume such responsibility or acquire this rank unless he is qualified for it, at least at the organizational level. Also, there could be ambiguity with the name. However, there are some question marks in this regard. It is obvious that Al-Qa'ida operates within the Taliban Movement, and he is still considering Mullah Muhammad Umar as commander of the faithful. Accordingly, we view Al-Qa'ida as a brigade of the Taliban or part of the army that is carrying out resistance operations against occupation. Second, concerning Al-Qa'ida in Afghanistan, which is the main base there, it looks strange that Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin does not appear in this scene, although he has been absent for some time. What is more strange is the absence of Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is the spokesperson for Al-Qa'ida and its brain. They usually appear whenever there is something involving Al-Qa'ida in Afghanistan, which is the main capital of Al-Qa'ida. What we have observed now seems strange. What is obviously important is that the jihad project during the past stage and until now has been progressing and achieving successes at the expense of the Karazi government.
[Al-Shayib] What is the objective behind showing Mustafa Abu-al-Yazid in this video?
[Al-Zayyat] It is obvious that Al-Qa'ida has had a mainstay and that there are Afghans who are providing it with security or military cover. Mustafa Abu-al-Yazid could not appear in this video had he not been confident that he is protected with this Afghan cover. It is a message noting clearly that the Afghan brothers or the mujahidin are exchanging duties with them and that the Arabs are working in harmony with the Afghans. Thus, it is a message indicating that Al-Qa'ida has returned to the theater in Afghanistan.
[Al-Shayib] Mr. Al-Zayyat, please remain with us and let us view together another part of the video recording that shows Mustafa Abu-al-Yazid as saying that the Al-Qa'ida member Abd-al-Hadi al-Iraqi, who was sent by the Al-Qa'ida Organization a short while ago to lead the organization in Iraq, was arrested in Turkey and that the Turkish Government handed him over to the United States.
[Recording begins] Concerning the arrest of brother hero Abd-al-Hadi al-Iraqi, may God release him from prison, strengthen and support him; we would like to clarify some of the matters that are related to his arrest. While on his way to Iraq, longing to fight the Americans in his birthplace and the country that witnessed his youth, he asked the command early enough to go to Iraq, but he remained patient until he was permitted to travel approximately one and a half years ago. He was arrested in Turkey and the agent Turkish Government handed him over to the Americans with the hope that the extradition would urge the master to mediate with the Europeans to enable Turkey to join the infidel alliance that is called the European Union. He was handed over to the Americans despite his request for political asylum, which a Turkish court decided to grant to him. The agent Turkish Government arrested the lawyer that filed brother Abd-al-Hadi's case. What freedom or justice they are claiming and to what type of Islam they belong? Their penalty will come from God and then from the mujahidin and it is imminent, with God's help. We ask God to strengthen brother Abd-al-Hadi and all Muslim prisoners and to expedite their release, because he is the one who can do so. [Recording ends]
[Al-Shayib] Mr Muntasir al-Zayyat, in our attempt to become more acquainted with Mustafa Abu-al-Yazid, do you think that Al-Qa'ida, through this video recording and Mustafa Abu-al-Yazid speech, is seeking to bring into view a new face in order to prove that there is always a second row of leaders that are ready to assume responsibility?
[Al-Zayyat] It is obvious that this matter is part of the message and that you can tell from his accent that Mustafa Abu-al-Yazid is an Egyptian citizen, which emphasizes the Egyptian role in Al-Qa'ida's leadership. His talk about Turkey implies a puzzle since there are European countries that refused to meet US demands to extradite prominent Islamic figures from their countries. The question mark or the strangeness in this case is that the Turkish Government rushes to extradite Abd-al-Hadi al-Iraqi to the United States; an act which had deepened differences between the school that stands behind the Turkish Government and the Al-Qa'ida Organization.
[Al-Shayib] We will resume our talk with you, Mr. Muntasir al-Zayyat, and let us view more of the video recording, in which Mustafa Abu-al-Yazid denies that the arrest or killing of some Al-Qa'ida members have affected the Organization.
[Begin recording] Those plotters pretend to be ignorant that our plan was to lure the Americans to a war of attrition outside their borders in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. Live fronts have been opened for us in Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria, Somalia, and elsewhere, some of which were for training purposes, proportionate to the capacity of those countries. Thanks be to God, who granted success to our emir Shaykh Usama, may God keep his soul, and his mujahidin brothers in what they were seeking to achieve; namely, the globalization of the jihad ideology. It is more than enough that Shaykh Usama and Shaykh Ayman [Al-Zawahiri] constitute a lump in Bush's throat to taste its bitterness day and night.
Second, jihad will continue until judgment day and will not be stopped by the martyrdom or arrest of some cadres or commanders. On the contrary, the blood of martyrs and steadfastness of the prisoners will breathe life into the hearts of thousands of the nation's cadres and drive them to join the ranks of the mujahidin. We receive new Islamic nation's cadres everyday who are brave and anxious to fight infidels. [End recording]
[Al-Shayib] Mr Muntasir al-Zayyat, do you think that there is a relation between appointing Abu-al-Yazid in charge of Afghanistan and intensifying the coordination with Taliban in the future?
[Al-Zayyat] Certainly, his presence inside Afghanistan and his open appearance emphasizes that the Mullah Muhammad Umar emirate of the faithful confirm that Al-Qa'ida is operating within the Taliban inside Afghanistan. Shaykh Mustafa also wanted to confirm that Al-Qa'ida is existing, contradicting the belief of many researchers during the past phase, as an organizational structure that has preserved its entity, not only its ideology, by saying that there are camps for training here and there. He also firmly referred to what we have been analyzing that the movement is full with cadres in an attempt to deviate attention from the Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin's absence or the absence of Shaykh Sulayman Abu-Ghayth al-Kuwaiti. In fact, this video recording has many indications that reveal the deep existence of Al-Qa'ida and its regional, local, and international expansion as well as its close ties with the Taliban Movement, which were, and are, still close.
[Al-Shayib] Finally Mr. Muntasir al-Zayyat, how do you expect the reaction of certain parties or countries, which are declaring war against terrorism to this video recording and its content?
[Al-Zayyat] We said before that Al-Qa'ida made actual successes and was able to efficiently mange the battle on the media level in a way that surpassed US media capabilities and those of its world allies. Now, we discover that Al-Qa'ida is making military successes inside Afghanistan, where the Bush Administration launched what it called a war against terrorism. This video recording opens the door anew at the Bush Administration's failure in achieving any of the targets that it sought. In the recording, Mustafa says that what is important is keeping Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin and Shaykh Ayman al-Zawahiri alive, free, and far away from US handcuffs or claws.
[Al-Shayib] Mr Muntasir al-Zayyat, researcher and expert in Islamists groups' affairs, from Cairo. Thank you very much.
At 1300 GMT Al-Jazirah carries a repeat of the video footage of a person called Mustafa Abu-al-Yazid, including new recorded part of his speech as follows:
The Al-Qa'ida official in Afghanistan, Mustafa Abu-al-Yazid, gave what he called some 'advice' to HAMAS, asking the movement not to accept the international or the Arab resolutions.
Abu-al-Yazid is then heard saying: "We advise our brothers in HAMAS -- we strongly urge them, for the sake of the brotherhood based on faith between us and for the sake of the martyrs who sacrificed themselves cheaply to please God, and for the sake of the entire Muslim nation and our nation in Palestine in particular -- we advise them to recant their participation in apostate councils and rescind their commitment to respect the international and Arab resolutions, which impose on them the relinquishment of most of Palestine to the Jews. We also advise them not to put their hands in the hands of the traitorous, hirelings, and apostates in the Palestinian Authority. They have to correct their understanding of the doctrine of loyalty [to God] and renunciation [of the apostates] and they should not abandon the application of the Islamic sharia in return of alleged interests."
SOURCE: US CENTRAL COMMAND