Bin Laden's deputy mocks Bush and troop pullout
AMELIA HILL in LONDON AL QAIDA'S Number 2 mocked both US President George Bush and the US Congress bill setting a pullout timetable for US troops from Iraq, in a new insurgent video intercepted last night by a US-based group.
In the video, Amman al-Zawahri - who acts as Osama bin Laden's deputy - is shown in a white Arab robe and white turban, seated before a bookshelf, the Washington-based SITE Institute said.
Al-Zawahri speaks sarcastically of the US troop pullout tying war funding to a withdrawal timetable, said SITE, which tracks terror messaging. The one hour seven minutes long video was dated May and had English subtitles.
"This bill will deprive us of the opportunity to destroy the American forces which we have caught in a historic trap," al-Zawahri says, adding that the bill is evidence of American "failure and frustration".
"We ask Allah that they (US troops) only get out of it after losing 200,000 to 300,000 killed, in order that we give the spillers of blood in Washington and Europe an unforgettable lesson," al-Zawahri added.
He made no mention of Bush vetoing the bill last Thursday - an indication the video may have been made after Congress passed the legislation but before the veto.
Al-Zawahri also smirked at the US troops' ongoing Baghdad security plan, recounting the April 12 suicide bombing at the Iraqi Parliament cafeteria in the heavily protected Green Zone in Baghdad, when a bomber slipped through security and blew himself up amid lunching lawmakers, killing one Sunni legislator.
An al Qaida-led amalgam of Sunni insurgents in Iraq claimed one of its "knights" had carried out theattack.
"And lest Bush worry, I congratulate him on the success of his security plan, and I invite him on the occasion for a glass of juice, but in the cafeteria of the Iraqi parliament in the middle of the Green Zone," al-Zawahri says.