Al-Qaida video critical of Pakistani army

Sept. 29, 2008 at 5:02 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- A video has been released by al-Qaida chastising the Pakistani military and government for the death of radical Muslim leader Abdul Rashid Ghazi.

Ghazi was killed in 2007 during a violent confrontation between militants and the Pakistani government at the Lal Masjid mosque in Islamabad. The documentary-style video, released by the al-Qaida media arm as-Sahab, features Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, among other high-level al-Qaida operatives, praising Ghazi, according to a report by the Site Intelligence Group.

The hourlong video, entitled "A True Imam," is also highly critical of top Pakistani leaders, including new President Asif Ali Zardari and former President Pervez Musharraf, among others. The Site Intelligence Group, a terrorist propaganda monitoring organization, says "A True Imam" calls the Pakistani military despicable, a corrupt institution and a tool of the West.

"And let the Pakistan army know that the killing of Abdul Rashid Ghazi and his male and female students and the demolishing of his mosque and two madrassas has soaked the history of the Pakistan army in shame and despicableness which can only be washed away by retaliation," Zawahiri says, according to the Site Intelligence Group report.

The health of Zawahiri has come into question since reports in August that suggested the top al-Qaida leader might be dead or dying. According to Virginia-based IntelCenter, officials are working to "determine if the video statement from Ayman al-Zawahiri is new or not," Ben Venzke, IntelCenter chief executive officer, said in a statement.

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