Qaeda No 2 Zawahiri releases English video

Calls for jihad in Pakistan


Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second-in-command to al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, has released his first English-language video call for jihad in Pakistan, the U.S.-based IntelCenter said Sunday.

The message was aired on Pakistan's ARY television network, IntelCenter said in a statement, adding that it marked "the first official message ever ... in which he speaks English."

Zawahiri "calls for the people to support jihad in Pakistan and lists a litany of grievances against the Pakistani government and U.S. involvement there," said Intel Center, which monitors extremist websites and communications.

"He also relates his own personal experiences having lived in Pakistan in an apparent attempt to build a stronger connection with the Pakistani people," it said in a statement.

The Egyptian-born Zawahiri says he picked English because he "wants to speak directly to the Pakistani people and chose English because he cannot speak Urdu."

Zawahiri was briefly rumored to have died in a July 28 missile strike in Pakistan, but U.S. intelligence and Pakistan's Taliban movement subsequently denied the reports.

Al-Qaeda in a statement posted on an Islamist website acknowledged that the strike did kill an Al-Qaeda weapons expert, Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, also known as Abu al-Khabab al-Masri.

Zawahiri has been indicted for his alleged role in the August 7, 1998, bombings of the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya.

The FBI has offered a reward of up to 25 million dollars for information leading to his arrest or conviction.