al-Qaida Calls for Holy War in Iraq (AP) By NADIA ABOU EL-MAGD CAIRO, EGYPT 02/02/05 1:21 PM)
AP} ASSOCIATED PRESS
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CAIRO, Egypt - In a clear reference to Iraq´s weekend balloting, a
statement purportedly made by Osama bin Laden´s top deputy says holy
war, not "rigged elections," is the only path for reform in Islamic
The written statement, said to have been the transcript of an audio
taped recording of a speech by al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri, first
appeared on several Islamist Internet sites Tuesday.
"Reform can´t be achieved under governments installed by the
(foreign) occupier through rigged elections conducted under the
supervision of the United Nations and protected by B-52s and Apache
helicopter rockets," al-Zawahri said. "There is no reform except
through holy war."
It was not immediately possible to authenticate the statement. The
audiotape itself was inaccessible on several militant Web sites where
it had been posted.
Iraq´s Association of Muslim Scholars months ago urged Sunnis to shun
the polls because of the presence of U.S. and other foreign troops,
while insurgents threatened to kill anyone who voted in Sunday´s
polls, in which Shiites and Kurds turned out in huge numbers.
Islamic militants, led by al-Qaida in Iraq terrorist Abu Musab al-
Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for numerous suicide bombings and
attacks against polling stations Sunday.
Al-Zawahri, who is believed to be hiding with bin Laden in remote,
mountainous regions along the Pakistani-Afghanistan border, renewed
his attack on the United States for invading Afghanistan and Iraq,
saying, "America is seeking by every means to fight the Islamic
The undated statement also referred to recent events like Egypt´s
December signing of a trade agreement with Israel and the United
The deal paves the way for establishing Qualified Industrial Zones,
where Egypt - which signed a 1979 peace treaty with Israel - can
export goods to America duty-free as long as a minimum 11.7 percent
of their value is made in the Jewish state.
"No reform could be achieved while our (Arab) rulers are pursuing a
normalization policy with Israel to destroy our economy to achieve
their personal interests," the statement said. (Copyright 2005
Associated Press. 02/02/05)
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