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Leader of al-Qaida in Iraq Mocks Bush

Published:

Last Edited: November 10, 2006, 5:08 pm

Published: 11/10/06, 4:26 PM EDT

By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A new recording Friday attributed to the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq mocked President Bush as a coward whose conduct of the war was rejected at the polls, challenging him to keep U.S. troops in the country to face more bloodshed.

"We haven't had enough of your blood yet," taunted terror chieftain Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, identified as the speaker on the tape.

He gloated over Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's resignation, claimed to have 12,000 fighters under his command who "have vowed to die for God's sake," and said his fighters will not rest until they blow up the White House and occupy Jerusalem.

It was impossible to verify the authenticity of the 20-minute recording, posted on a Web site used by Islamic militants. The CIA said technical analysis was being conducted on the tape.

Al-Muhajir, an Egyptian also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, boasted that al-Qaida in Iraq is moving toward victory faster than expected because of Bush's mistakes.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said the Bush administration had no comment on the tape.

The tape and its often far-fetched claims came as the U.S. military announced the deaths of five more service members in the 44-month-old conflict, which has grown increasingly unpopular at home. Twenty-six American service members have been killed in Iraq so far this month.

At least 59 Iraqi civilians were killed or found dead Friday as the violence threatens to spiral into all-out civil war. In one of the day's bloodiest incidents, a suicide bomber in an explosives-rigged car killed six Iraqi soldiers he had lured from behind a checkpoint.

Just hours earlier, Iraq's army said it captured the Egyptian leader of an al-Qaida cell in Anbar province, an insurgent stronghold.

The audio message appeared to be an attempt to exact maximum propaganda benefit from the results of Tuesday's midterm elections, in which the Republicans lost control of both houses of Congress, in part because of the war.

Al-Muhajir praised the American people for handing victory to the Democrats, saying: "They voted for something reasonable in the last elections."

He also said Bush was "the most stupid president" in U.S. history.

"We call on the lame duck not to hurry his escape the way the defense secretary did," al-Muhajir said in reference to Rumsfeld's resignation as Pentagon chief on Wednesday.

"Remain steadfast on the battlefield, you coward," said al-Muhajir, who took over leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in June.

"We will not rest from our jihad (holy war) until we are under the olive trees of Rumieh and we have blown up the filthiest house - which is called the White House," al-Muhajir said.

The "olive trees of Rumieh" appeared to be a reference to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, or to Christendom as a continuation of the Roman empire.

Al-Muhajir also told Iraqi Sunnis to ally with a shadowy mini-state that militants claim to have established last month under a man identified as Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.

"I vow allegiance to you," he said, addressing al-Baghdadi as the "ruler of believers " and placing al-Qaida in Iraq fighters under his command.

Friday's civilian death toll was little changed from previous days. The United Nations estimates about 100 Iraqis die in violence each day, while Iraq's health minister on Thursday estimated up to 150,000 civilians had been killed in the war - about three times previously accepted estimates of 45,000-50,000.

At least 33 bodies were found Friday, most the victims of roving sectarian death squads that usually torture their victims before shooting them.

Among the latest victims was a Sunni imam, Akram Jassim, 60, gunned down at the front entrance to his mosque in Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, said Brig. Abdul Kerim al-Jubori, a spokesman for the provincial police.

Meanwhile, Bush and his national security team will meet Monday with members of a blue-ribbon commission trying to devise a new course for the unpopular war.

The bipartisan Iraq Study Group, led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton of Indiana, is expected to report its recommendations before the end of the year.

Members of the group will have a joint conference at the White House with Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Entry #85

Comments

1.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 10, 2006, 5:20 pm
I'm not sure what is worse...the terrorists calling for death and destruction or the Americans calling for death and destruction. Obviously this approach is not working on either side. Are these the only viable options on the table? 'Give peace a chance' comes to mind as an alternative solution and a starting point to end this BS before we're all dead.
2.
TenajComment by Tenaj - November 10, 2006, 5:36 pm
I was wondering how long it was going to take for the FEAR tactics to start.   I'm glad America is past these kind of threats that instilled fear in the hearts of the America people. We'll be getting a lot of this. President Bush has made us the laughing stock of the world. I can't wait to see the special on this Bill Maher on HBO. I think it's on the 16th, not sure about the date.

To say "Bush was "the most stupid president" in U.S. history" is an insult, even coming from these people. We all should be held accountable for what has happened to this country.   

3.
floridianComment by floridian - November 10, 2006, 6:01 pm
As much as I respect Rick G I can not agree with him at all on this one. When 100 million of the 1billion muslims say they want to kill you because you are a Christian and/or an American you better take them at their word.

Peace has nothing to do with a winning ideology that is bent on your distruction. It has nothing to do with how you feel about them one way or the other. The new Caliphate is the new Caliphate and what we Americans want has nothing to do with anything. We are just a little diversion from the real direction things are going.

I am like them in one respect I do not care if you believe me or not it really doesn't matter.

I can try but this will fall on deaf ears as well. I might suggest or draw your attention to the Cow or the Women in the Quran. I believe that speaks for itself and answers the question about just give peace a chance.

You lottery people are really good at research well here is another chance to do big.

Floridian
4.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 10, 2006, 6:15 pm
Today's British report on the 30 potential terrorist attacks involving up to 1600 suspects should be a wakeup call to us all. We don't want a generation of ongoing war as has existed in the Middle East and we don't want suicide bombers among us. There just HAS to be a better way to resolve this. Discontinuing aggression against countries and concentrating that aggression on guilty terrorists would be a start.

Example: The terrorist attack on the Israeli participants of the Munich Olympics. The Mossad took care of the participants in that attack and there was no worries of suicide bombers as a result of their actions bringing the guilty parties to justice or retribution. They did not attack the country(s) that the guilty parties came from, they eliminated the problem silently and effectively. They forgot their own lessons when they attacked Lebanon.

Osama bin Laden is still operating yet we're at war in two countries because of his actions. When you have cancer they remove the tumors, they don't kill the patient to cure the disease.





5.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 10, 2006, 6:46 pm
I also respect Floridian's views. "Give Peace a Chance" was probably a wrong phrase to use. They are bent on our destruction. The question is why they are bent on our destruction and why that feeling is growing daily. My contention is that we are interfering in their lives and countries in response to a small radical fringe group. They are responding to that violent interference with more violence. That small radical fringe group is becoming a larger one.

I know I'm guilty of using analogies, but if a man punches me in the face at the bar, I'm not going to go home and get a gun, come back and kill all the patrons, but instead I'll wait for him in the parking lot and punch him back harder.
6.
konaneComment by konane - November 10, 2006, 7:49 pm
Floridian is 1000% correct and bottom lined it as I've tried to do on my blog. Warnings from experts on the Middle East cited in my blogs has fallen on deaf ears or held up to ridicule by those who have chosen to ignore what's before their faces.

The only thing they understand as a defense against them is strength in fighting for what someone values.

It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when they hit because their stated intent is to destroy the US and it has been that for over 30 years.

An effeminate congress only shows them weaker will and thanks to that congress the US will be even more vulnerable, just as it was under Clinton when he CHOSE TO DO NOTHING in retaliation which brought us 9-11.
7.
TenajComment by Tenaj - November 10, 2006, 10:14 pm
Nobody is never 1000% correct especially when it comes to war. Warning from the Middle East are just tactics to instill fear in the America people. Those people have been fighting each other in a non-stop war that has lasted for centuries. The best thing for the US is to pull out and admit the mistake of fighting the wrong people and not those responsible for the bombing of the world trade center.
8.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 10, 2006, 10:28 pm
The majority of the American People disagree with the current policy. They voted so. This is a Democracy. Period.
9.
konaneComment by konane - November 11, 2006, 9:08 am
Floridain is billion% right about radical Islam's stated intent to establish a WORLD Caliphate ........... the entire world of Islam in which no one can exist unless enslaved or killed.

Are you ready to convert?

BTW Rick this is not a democracy of mob rule.

The US is a Representative Republic in which we elect officials to carry out our wishes in congress.
10.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 11, 2006, 12:41 pm
"The US is a Representative Republic in which we elect officials to carry out our wishes in congress."

You can all it any name you want, the people voted the bums out because they were not carrying out our wishes.

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