From AP, with thanks to Shinoliite.
CAIRO, Egypt – In a rare video posted Tuesday on the Internet, al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi swore allegiance to Osama bin Laden and said any government formed in Iraq would be merely a “stooge.”
He also mocked the U.S. military in Iraq for what he called suicides, drug-taking and mutinies, and he warned that “worse” attacks were to come.
The video, released just days after Iraq named a new prime minister and a high-profile audiotape from bin Laden appeared on Arab TV, seemed a deliberate attempt by al-Zarqawi to claim the spotlight again following months of taking a lower profile…
The video was believed the first to show al-Zarqawi’s face. The bearded, black-clothed terrorist leader, thought to be about 40, was in a flat desert landscape, dotted with scrub brush as if after a spring rain, that looked startlingly like Iraq’s western Anbar province.
The footage showed him and about two dozen insurgents, masked and dressed in black uniforms, undergoing combat training.
In another scene, al-Zarqawi was filmed inside, sitting with his lieutenants and Anbar’s insurgent commander, according to a caption in the video. The men, sitting on traditional Arab cushions and mats, could be seen discussing strategy over a large map spread on the ground.
“Any government which is formed in Iraq now _whether by Shiites or Zionist Kurds, or those who are dubbed Sunnis “” would only be a stooge,” al-Zarqawi said in the video. “They are a poisoned dagger in the heart of the Muslim nation.”…
Al-Zarqawi also claimed the U.S. military was overwhelmed in Iraq.
“Why don’t you tell people that your soldiers are committing suicide, taking drugs and hallucination pills to make them sleep?” he asked, directing his words to President Bush.
“By God, your dreams will be defeated by our blood and by our bodies. What is coming is even worse,” he said.
The U.S. military in Iraq said it would have no immediate comment…