From AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
CAIRO, Egypt – In an audiotape received by Al-Jazeera satellite television, a man purported to be Osama bin Laden endorsed Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi as his deputy in Iraq and called for a boycott of next month’s elections there.
Al-Jazeera quoted the tape in a news summary Monday but had not broadcast the recording.
Al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian, leads a group called al-Qaida in Iraq, which is responsible for numerous car bombings and beheadings of foreign hostages in Iraq. The United States has placed a $25 million bounty on both bin Laden and al-Zarqawi.
Iraqis are scheduled to elect a 275-member National Assembly on Jan. 30. There have been calls to postpone the election because of the ongoing insurgency, but President Bush has insisted the vote be held as scheduled.