Al-Qaeda’s Deppity Dawg tries to rally the troops, and thereby indicates that some may regard the Islamic State of Iraq with skepticism, and that the tiff with Hamas has not been papered over. “Al-Qaeda deputy sets out strategy,” by Roger Hardy for the BBC:
Al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman Zawahiri has urged Muslims to unite behind the movement’s global jihad – and called for the violent overthrow of the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Zawahiri’s new video, an hour and a half long, has been posted on the internet. It is not clear when it was recorded.
In a wide-ranging review of developments in the Muslim world, Zawahiri lays great stress on the central role of Iraq.
He claims Iraqis are increasingly supporting the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq, proclaimed in predominantly Sunni areas by an al-Qaeda affiliate.
The success of the Islamic State, he says, is crucial to the revival of a global, pan-Islamic caliphate.
Zawahiri underlines the need for unity in Iraq – an implicit acknowledgement that splits have opened up in Sunni ranks.
The Americans and the Baghdad government have been encouraging Sunni tribal leaders to join the fight against al-Qaeda.
He disputes the claim that the Islamic State of Iraq lacks legitimacy and the trappings of statehood.
It is more legitimate, he declares caustically, than the Hamas-Fatah government set up in Gaza and the West Bank.
That government was created in February and has since collapsed – which might suggest the video was made some time ago.
As in the past, the al-Qaeda number two castigates Hamas for “giving away four-fifths of Palestine”, the territory which became Israel in 1948.