July 5th, 2007 07:19 EST
Deputy Leader of Al-Qaeda Calls for More Attacks
Osama bin Laden's right-hand man Ayman al-Zawahiri issued a vehement video Wednesday calling for attacks on Western interests worldwide and regime change in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
"The struggle against the corrupt regimes and the corruptors is in two phases ... In the short term, one must take aim at the interests of the Crusaders and Jews," Zawahiri said in the 95-minute video from Al-Qaeda's As-Sahab Media.
"All those who have attacked the (Islamic) nation must pay the price, in our countries and theirs, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Palestine and in Somalia, but above all where one can strike a blow against their interests," he said.
The eighth video released by Zawahiri so far this year, it contains no reference to the foiled car bombing attacks in London and Glasgow.
The Egyptian-born Zawahiri frequently emerges in video or audio tapes to speak for the Al-Qaeda network. With the Al-Qaeda chief now staying out of the public eye, he has become its most senior spokesman as well.
The bearded, bespectacled Zawahiri has a 25-million-dollar US bounty on his head and officials say he is the Al-Qaeda network's main strategist and ideologist as well as its second-in-command.
"In the long term one must work seriously to change these corrupt regimes and corruptors," said Zawahiri, who spends much of the video titled "The Advice of One Concerned" attacking Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
To achieve that aim "one must win over popular sympathy for a change to Islamic Jihadism," he said, but also emphasising "the necessity of using force to provoke that change."
Zawahiri dedicated a considerable part of his message to attacking Saudi royals and officials as "rapacious ones who want to possess the land, that which it holds and those who people it."
He singles out Prince Bandar bin Sultan for allegedly receiving secret payments of more than one billion dollars from Britain's BAE following a 1985 aircraft deal with Riyadh.
Zawahiri even cracks a joke to take a swipe at Egyptian authorities for their alleged use of torture, referring to an Egyptian newspaper article he read which mentioned a fax sent by a jailed dissident from his prison cell.
Do prison cells in Egypt have fax machines, he asks, "and I wonder, are they connected to the same line as the electric shock machine or do they have a separate line," he says according to an English transcript provided by As-Sahab Media to the Alexandria, Virginia-based IntelCenter.