Monday, January 30, 2006

Zawahiri Releases Video Tape

Via (Fox News)

If this tape is confirmed to be authentic, then it looks as if we missed him:

CAIRO, Egypt — Al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri said in a videotape aired Monday that President Bush was a "butcher" and a "failure" because of a deadly U.S. airstrike in Pakistan targeting the bin Laden deputy, and he threatened a new attack on the United States.

A U.S. counterterrorism official, speaking on condition of anonymity in compliance with office policy, said there was no reason to doubt the authenticity of the tape, which U.S. intelligence officials were analyzing. The official said the message broadcast by Al-Jazeera showed Al Qaeda believed it was important to convey that al-Zawahiri is alive.

In Washington, FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko said the bureau would ask agents around the United States to review ongoing cases and tips in light of the new tape, especially with two major events this week — the State of the Union in Washington and the Super Bowl in Detroit.

Al-Zawahiri, shown in the video wearing white robes and a white turban, said a Jan. 13 airstrike in the eastern village of Damadola killed "innocents," and he said the United States had ignored an offer from Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden for a truce.

I think we should remain vigilant given the State of the Union and the Super Bowl this week, but I still think it's smoke and mirrors. It's true if this is authentic that Zawahiri had to make this tape, if for no other reason than to reassure the followers that he is still alive.

I still maintain that the winning side in any war does not call for a truce and terrorists have absolutely no concern for our well being. The truce was offered because they are tired and need to regroup. They want us to accept the truce because they can't surrender and save face. Even if Zawahiri survived, I believe the hit was probably too close for comfort.

We should absolutely stay on our toes and take every threat seriously, but I do believe their ability to mount a 9/11 style attack has been seriously diminished.

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