Al-Zarqawi Releases Unprecedented New Video…

Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 3 Issue: 17

On April 25, after breaking a silence of almost four months, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi issued a 34-minute proclamation (dated four days earlier) posted directly to the internet. The video preamble opens with al-Zarqawi denouncing the absence of the “Lions of Monotheism” and warning against collaborators, which is immediately followed by film excerpts illustrating al-Zarqawi in the guise of active commander in the field conducting training exercises and directing strategic planning sessions. The statement itself, entitled Hadha Balagh Lil-Nas (This is a Message to the People), opens with an archive extract of Osama bin Laden urging Muslim youth to jihad before al-Zarqawi himself, who is seated with an automatic firearm to one side, launches into a 20-minute lecture. His talk focuses on the following points:

• The heroic resistance of the mujahideen in Iraq against the Crusaders, Zionists and treacherous Shiites, for which the viewers should be grateful;

• The media distortion of the real successes of the mujahideen;

• The work of the mujahideen as part of a larger defense of Islam, in particular of the Muslim sanctities in Palestine;

• “Our leader” bin Laden’s truce, which was refused;

• The lies of President Bush to the Iraqis and to his own people, and the despair of U.S. soldiers in Iraq;

• The forlorn attempts to form a “deformed government” of “treacherous Shiites, Zionizing Kurds or Sunni tails”;

• The U.S. attempts to use Sunni collaborators to confuse the people;

• Threats against those thinking of collaborating with the Iraqi military and police forces;

• Warnings of U.S. efforts to seduce those who waver or insincere insurgents with the fraud of some form of “Sharia” being implemented by Iraqi parliamentarians, and an exhortation to these not to give up the jihad.

Following this talk, the video reprises more scenes from the work of the al-Qaeda group, aimed at presenting the mujahideen as confident, advancing technologically and pressing on to victory, and not least presenting images of al-Zarqawi, much in the style of bin Laden, as the serene, all-knowing, beloved leader. The video concludes with footage of al-Zarqawi firing an automatic weapon and signing off that “America will exit the Land of the Two Rivers defeated, humiliated, distressed and despised.”