al Qaeda releases tape commemorating the 7/7 London bombings
As-Sahab banner announcing upcoming al Qaeda tape commemorating the 7/7 London bombings. Banner courtesy of Rita Katz of the SITE Institute.
Last evening, ABC News' Brian Ross reported, via the Blotter, that al Qaeda would soon be releasing a tape commemorating the one year anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings. Al Jazeera is currently airing the tape.
According to Brian Ross, Ayman al-Zawahiri is seen on the tape, along with Adam Gadahn (AKA Azzam al-Amriki), the American al Qaeda who works in al Qaeda's propaganda division. There is a "last will and testament of Shahzad Tanweer," one of the 7/7 London suicide bombers.
FOX News has just shown video with the 7/7 bombers mixing chemicals in beakers. The BBC confirms that Zawahiri, Gadahn and Tanweer are on the tape. A clip of the video can be seen at the BBC link. Excerpts are from Tanweer 's statements:
"What have you witnessed now is only the beginning of a string of attacks that will continue and become stronger." The attacks will continue "until you pull your forces out of Afghanistan and Iraq."
In the video Tanweer refers to the non-Muslims of Britain. He says because they voted for a government which "continues to oppress our mothers, children, brothers and sisters in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya", then they deserve such actions.
"What have you witnessed now is only the beginning of a string of attacks that will continue and become stronger until you pull your forces out of Afghanistan and Iraq and until you stop your financial and military support to America and Israel."
Zawahiri lionizes Tanweer in the video:
"He studied physical fitness at university and he had a passion for boxing... Even though he was from a well-off family, his clothes and appareance didn't show that."
Evan Kohlmann reports that he warned London officials a year ago al Qaeda would do this, because al Qaeda did this after 9/11 to prove that they ran the operation and it wasn't just "homegrown."
Walid Phares: Summary of statements on MSNBC: There are a variety of lessons from the release of this tape. 1) al Qaeda does have material which they store, use and release at the proper moment. 2) There is a political mind behind al Qaeda, which they rely on to use the material, and use the media to get out their political message. The minds behind the attack have a public relations agenda. These attacks are not the work of frustrated Muslims, but that of an international organization. al Qaeda is observing Britain's political debate and tailoring their message for maximum political effect. The tape is a call to the international network to conduct future attacks. The London attack is viewed as a success and other local affiliates should emulate this strike.
This is the second al Qaeda tape which addresses the 7/7 London bombings. In September of 2005, the last will of Mohammad Sidique Khan, one of the 7/7 bombers, was aired on Al Jazeera, along with a recording from Zawahiri, where he claims responsibility behind the attacks.
ABC News' Alexis Debat reports both Shehzad Tanweer and Mohammad Saddique Khan "personally met with Ayman al-Zawahiri in the tribal areas, " according to Pakistani intelligence sources:
The same sources say that both Khan and Tanweer were led to South Waziristan via Quetta several weeks after their arrival in Karachi in November 2004 and spent at least three full days with Zawahiri in the tribal areas. Khan's and Tanweer's confessions were taped during that stay, along with Ayman al-Zawahiri's speech. The rushes were then edited in Quetta by As Sahab, al Qaeda's media arm.