Da China Daily del 31/01/2006
Originale su http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2006-01/31/content_516474.htm

Al-Zawahri mocks Bush over terrorism war

Al-Qaeda's number two Ayman al-Zawahiri said he survived a controversial US raid targeting him in Pakistan, according to a video broadcast on the Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera.

A January 13 attack on Damadola, a remote Pakistani village bordering Afghanistan, killed 18 civilians and was said by US intelligence sources to have targeted Zawahiri, the chief ideologue of Osama bin Laden's network.

"US planes launched a raid against the village of Damadola... under the pretext of wanting to kill me and four of my companions," Zawahiri said, wearing a white turban and robe.

"The entire world has discovered the extent of the American lies and of their ruin and of their savagery in their war against Islam and Muslims," he said.

Addressing US President George W. Bush, Zawahiri was defiant.

Zawahiri did not say if he was in the house targeted or elsewhere during the raid.

"I will find death when God has decided it according to His will, but if my hour has not come, neither you nor any force on earth... could speed up my hour (of death) by one second," he said, visibly comfortable and in good health.

The Egyptian-born Zawahiri sported his habitual graying beard and wore eyeglasses in the video, in which he appeared against a black backdrop.

"Bush, do you know where to find me? I am among the masses of Muslims, rejoicing in their support, their attention, their generosity, their protection and their participation in jihad until we conquer you with the help and power of God."

The attack, for which Islamabad did not give permission, prompted the Pakistani government to lodge an official protest with the United States.

The raid also triggered nationwide protests and calls for the expulsion of the US ambassador.

President Pervez Musharraf said Thursday on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that Pakistan did not give permission for the air strike, nor was it asked to do so.

But Zawahiri claimed that the raid was carried out in collusion with the Pakistani president, "the traitor and his security services, the slaves of Crusaders and Jews."

Pakistani officials said that four to five foreign militants were killed in the missile attack, reportedly including a bomb maker with a five million dollar US reward on his head and Zawahiri's son-in-law.

Previous reports had said Zawahiri himself was not thought to have been in the house targeted by the raid. Locals insist that only civilians were killed and that there were no Al-Qaeda members among them.

However, officials in the Bajur tribal agency have said that the strike was aimed at a group of militants gathering at a house for a dinner.

Islamabad says the CIA was behind the attack but Washington has yet to officially acknowledge that its spy agency was involved.

Zawahiri also graphically criticized the rejection by the United States of a truce proposed by bin Laden in a tape on January 19, his first message for over a year, saying it spelled doom for Americans.

"Bush and his gang want to drain off your blood and ruin your fortunes with losing initiatives, taking you towards confrontation with the Muslims to increase their fortunes."

The refusal to accept bin Laden's offer meant the American people were destined for "a future coloured by blood, the smoke of explosions and the shadows of terror."

"You, the American mother, if the defence department tells you that your son has arrived in a coffin, remember Bush. You, the British mother, if the ministry of defence tells you your husband is coming back paralysed, remember (Prime Minister Tony) Blair," he said.

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